President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey.
“I have received the attached letters from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General of the United States recommending your dismissal as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Mr. Trump said in a letter to Comey released Tuesday. “I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.”
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau,” the president continued. “It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”
The dismissal comes as the FBI is investigating any Russian meddling in the 2016 election,associates. Comey had most recently come under fire , an aide to Hillary Clinton, forwarded to her husband, Anthony Weiner.
Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe will become acting FBI director while the search for a new director begins, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Comey was meeting with agents and staff at the FBI complex in Los Angeles when he was fired. He was scheduled to speak tonight at a recruiting event for the FBI. Mr. Trump’s longtime body man, Keith Schiller, dropped off the letters notifying Comey of his firing by hand this afternoon at the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., a White House official confirmed. Comey boarded a plane a little before 9 p.m. ET — a little before 6 p.m. PT — presumably destined for the East Coast.
McCabe was called to a meeting at 5:30 p.m. and appointed acting director 15 minutes before the White House announced Comey’s firing at 5:45 p.m. U.S. officials told CBS News McCabe hastily arranged a video conference with the FBI’s 56 field offices, held at about 8 p.m.
Why was James Comey fired?
The White House released several documents after Comey’s firing, including the letter Mr. Trump informing Comey of his termination, the memo from Sessions recommending Comey’s dismissal to the president, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s memo to Sessions on Comey.
“The Director of the FBI must be someone who follows faithfully the rules and principles of the Department of Justice and who sets the right example for our law enforcement officials and others in the Department,” Sessions wrote to the president. “Therefore, I must recommend that you remove Director James B. Comey, Jr., and identify an experienced and qualified individual to lead the great men and women of the FBI.
It was the strongly worded memo written by Rosenstein to Sessions that outlined Comey’s missteps and laid out the argument for his removal.
“The current FBI Director is an articulate…