President Trump caused a political earthquake on Tuesday when he fired FBI Director James Comey without notice. The abrupt dismissal rocked Washington to a total halt for almost 2 hours as lawmakers tried to make sense of what had just happened.
President Trump said the abrupt firing of Comey was necessary in order to return and restore the credibility of the Bureau it had lost during his first term of his 10-year tenure as top Chief Investigator of the nation. Comey had become a controversial figure who had alienated himself from both sides of the political divide with his political meddling.
“Today will mark a new beginning,” read the statement from the White House.
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission,” Trump said in a letter to Comey released by the White House.
The FBI Director had come under immense criticism from both the Democrats and Republicans for his continued meddling in politics and inserting himself in political issues that had nothing to do with his position.
Comey repeatedly injected himself in political matters that did not involve him or his office, violating his role as FBI Director. Instead of being the top Chief Investigator in the country, he interchanged his role as Chief Prosecutor or a political meddler depending on what was happening.
There was a crisis in the leadership of James Comey that had led to deep polarization within Agency. The FBI had become so divided and under his leadership that there were pro-Comey and anti-Comey camps.
Director Comey was in Los Angeles on an FBI recruitment trip when he was fired.
A letter of dismissal from President Trump was hand-delivered by his most trusted private Security detail and bodyguard, Keith Schiller, who has been with Trump and the Trump Organization for years. The letter was hand-delivered to Comey’s office who wasn’t there to receive it.
“You are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately,” read the letter.
‘While I greatly appreciate you informing me on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice [DOJ] that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
While it is clear that President Trump is thanking Director Comey for stating that he [Trump] was not under FBI investigation, he nonetheless indicated that he would have to let him go because of ineffective leadership based on extensive reviews by the Deputy AG and sentiments from the FBI Bureau.
However the media and the Democrats have chosen to misrepresent the message by suggesting the decision to fire James Comey was personal and an attempt to shut down the bogus Fake Russia investigation. The FBI and all other Security Agencies have stated there is no proof of any Trump collusion with Russia in any form – business or political.
Officials say the FBI Director was fired because there was discontent within the Justice Department of the way he was operating. Senior officials concluded that Director Comey had repeatedly violated the DOJ’s operating procedures and principles when he publicly discussed the Hillary Clinton investigation into her illegal use of an email private server.
A written letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein laid out the rationale behind Comey’s dismissal after an exhaustive review of his role as FBI Director and handling of the Clinton investigation.
“The FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice,” Rosenstein wrote.
“I cannot defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.”
Rosenstein who brought up Comey’s bizarre behaviour on July 5 when he announced that he wasn’t going to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton, said he did so, “without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.
“Compounding the error, the Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold Press Conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined Criminal Investigation…We never release it gratuitously…It is a textbook example of what Federal Prosecutors and Agents are taught not to do.”
Rosenstein then criticized Director Comey’s other action in October when he again revealed that the Clinton Email investigation had been resumed then defending himself for doing so before a Congressional Hearing that not doing so, would have effectively been to “conceal” the matter.
“‘Conceal’ is a loaded term that misstates the issue,” Rosenstein indicated before proceeding.
“When Federal Agents and Prosecutors quietly open a Criminal Investigation, we are not concealing anything; we are simply following the longstanding policy that we refrain from publicizing non-public information. In that context, silence is not concealment.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed with his Deputy that Comey had to go because his own agency had lost faith in him, stating that he was “not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
He added, “I have concluded that a fresh start is needed at the leadership of the FBI…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.’’
Director Comey who was appointed by Obama in 2013 as the top Chief Investigator in the nation had become a polarizing and controversial figure, not only within the FBI Bureau and DOJ but within the political sphere as well.
He would insert himself in political issues that had nothing to do with his position as Top Cop and Chief Investigator, clearly violating his position. Last year in an unprecedented move, he usurped the role of Attorney General when Loretta Lynch compromised herself meeting with Bill Clinton in her jet at the airport tarmac during a bitter Presidential Election campaign, and while the Clinton email server investigation was active.
He inserted himself in political issues by pitting one Presidential candidate after the other and acting as Chief Prosecutor when political situations arose. In the last two years, Comey had become the most powerful person in the country and the first FBI Director to wield so much power that he elicited fear that no one could dare question or challenge him.
James Comey had become even more powerful than the Chief Magistrate in the nation – the Attorney General and his office, the Department of Justice – and all the senior officials within the Department who were his superiors. With that much power and the way he had become a law unto himself, it is not surprising that the axe finally came down on the most powerful FBI Director in modern time U.S. political history.
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