Trump fires FBI Direc­tor James Comey

Cape Breton Post - - World - BY JULIE PACE

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump abruptly fired FBI Direc­tor James Comey Tues­day, oust­ing the na­tion’s top law en­force­ment of­fi­cial in the midst of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into whether Trump’s cam­paign had ties to Rus­sia’s elec­tion med­dling.

In a let­ter to Comey, Trump said the fir­ing was nec­es­sary to re­store “public trust and con­fi­dence” in the FBI. Comey has come un­der in­tense scru­tiny in re­cent months for his role in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton’s email prac­tices, in­clud­ing a pair of let­ters he sent to Congress on the mat­ter in the clos­ing days of last year’s elec­tion. Trump made no men­tion of Comey’s role in the Clin­ton in­ves­ti­ga­tion. But the pres­i­dent did as­sert that Comey in­formed him “on three sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions that I am not un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

The White House said the search for a new FBI direc­tor was be­gin­ning im­me­di­ately.

Tues­day’s stun­ning an­nounce­ment came shortly af­ter the FBI cor­rected a sen­tence in Comey’s sworn tes­ti­mony on Capi­tol Hill last week. Comey told law­mak­ers that Huma Abe­din, a top aide to Hil­lary Clin­ton, had sent “hun­dreds and thou­sands” of emails to her hus­band’s lap­top, in­clud­ing some with classified in­for­ma­tion.

On Tues­day, the FBI said in a two-page let­ter to the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee that only “a small num­ber” of the thou­sands of emails found on the lap­top had been for­warded there while most had sim­ply been backed up from elec­tronic de­vices. Most of the email chains on the lap­top con­tain­ing classified in­for­ma­tion were not the re­sult of for­ward­ing, the FBI said.

Comey, 56, was nom­i­nated by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama for the FBI post in 2013 to a 10-year term. Praised for his in­de­pen­dence and in­tegrity, Comey has spent three decades in law en­force­ment and has been no stranger to con­tro­versy.

Be­fore the past months’ con­tro­ver­sies, Comey was per­haps best known for a re­mark­able 2004 stand­off with top of­fi­cials in the Ge­orge W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion over a fed­eral do­mes­tic sur­veil­lance pro­gram.

As the deputy at­tor­ney gen­eral, Comey rushed to the hos­pi­tal bed of At­tor­ney Gen­eral John Ashcroft to phys­i­cally stop White House of­fi­cials in their bid to get his ailing boss to reau­tho­rize a se­cret no-war­rant wire­tap­ping pro­gram.

Comey de­scribed the in­ci­dent in 2007 tes­ti­mony to Congress, ex­plain­ing that he be­lieved the spy pro­gram put in place af­ter the Sept. 11, 2001, ter­ror at­tacks was legally ques­tion­able.


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