President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey
WASHINGTON D.C. (KUSI) — 5/9/2017 5:45 p.m. — President Trump fired the man responsible for internal investigations into whether members of the Trump Administration worked with Russia in its interference in last year’s election.
According to CNN, Comey found out he’d been fired by seeing it broadcast on the news while addressing workers at the FBI’s LA office. A source close to Comey said he made a joke about it to lighten the mood and called his office to get confirmation.
CNN reports that Comey was dismissed at the suggestion of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, citing his handling of the investigation into Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s email sever.
Pres. Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey is "incredibly disturbing at many levels," Rep. Adam Schiff says https://t.co/6j3C74VdZr
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) May 10, 2017
Democrats rejected that claim, raising parallels to Watergate-era firings and suggested Comey was getting too close to the White House with the Russia probe, though many in the party say Comey’s investigation cost Clinton the election.
In a signed letter released by the White House, Trump informed Comey that he was "hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately," explaining that he reached the conclusion that Comey is "not able to effectively lead the bureau."
Our nation is in peril. The firing of James Comey is a dangerous precedent. Tuesday afternoon massacre. https://t.co/lEhlF5ttUZ
— Barbara Boxer (@BarbaraBoxer) May 10, 2017
U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s firing of F.B.I. Director James Comey:
“Firing law enforcement officers who may be investigating you or your associates and then appointing their replacements is something that happens in dictatorships – not in the United States of America. This move from the President is breathtaking in its brazen disregard for the independence of our justice system. Republican members of Congress who fail to stand up against this are complicit in this assault on our democracy.
“The founding fathers made Congress a check on the power of the Presidency. That check only functions when it is used without regard for political party. Congress – Democrats and Republicans – must stand up in a bipartisan defense of our institutions and insist that a special prosecutor be appointed before confirming a new director.
“Never before has it been clearer that the integrity of our democracy depends on an independent commission to investigate Russian interference in our election and a special prosecutor at the Department of Justice to follow an investigation to wherever – and whomever – it leads. Anyone who stands in the way of an independent investigation denies the American people the answers they deserve.”
2:30 p.m. — FBI Director James Comey was fired Tuesday after members of President Donald Trump’s administration recommended his removal.
According to CNN, Comey’s dismissal is effective immediately.
"The FBI is one of our nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement," Trump said in a statement.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that Comey "accepted the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general," who both recommended Comey’s "dismissal."
According to CNN, the White House will begin their search for a new FBI director immediately.
Comey, 56, was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013. Praised for his independence and integrity, Comey has spent three decades in law enforcement.
Below is White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s announcement, the letter to Comey from Trump, the letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the memo from the deputy attorney general.
This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.