Posts Tagged ‘F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump’

Trump Fires FBI Director Comey — “The timing of this firing is deeply troubling.”

May 10, 2017

Fox News

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Reaction to President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey was split along partisan lines Tuesday, with Republicans claiming that Comey’s dismissal would mark a fresh start for the bureau, even as Democrats called for a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials.

Comey told lawmakers in March that the FBI was conducting a counterintelligence investigation into Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election campaign, an investigation that included possible links between members of the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he told Trump “you are making a big mistake” when the president called to inform Schumer that he was firing the FBI director.

“The first question the administration has to answer is, ‘Why now?’” Schumer told reporters. “Were these investigations getting too close to home for the president?”

Schumer then called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special prosecutor, saying “America depends on you to restore faith in our criminal justice system, which is going to be badly shattered after the administration’s actions today.”

Other Democrats attributed sinister motives to Comey’s firing, with two Senators, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, describing it in press statements as “Nixonian.” Another Democratic senator, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, said the firing “is disturbingly reminiscent of the Saturday Night Massacre during the Watergate scandal and the national turmoil that it caused,” later adding “We are careening ever closer to a Constitutional crisis.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the firing “raises the ghosts of some of the worst Executive Branch abuses” and called for “an independent, bipartisan commission” to continue the Trump-Russia investigation.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. said that Comey “should be immediately called to testify in an open hearing about the status of the investigation into Russia and Trump associates at the time he was fired.”

However, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Me., told Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier” that claims Comey was fired to blunt the Russia investigation were “patently absurd.”

“This is just one person. It’s the director,” Collins said. “The investigation is going forward, both at the FBI and in the Senate Intelligence Committee in a bipartisan way.”

The chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said he was “troubled by the timing and reasoning” for Comey’s dismissal.

“In my interactions with the Director and with the Bureau under his leadership, he and the FBI have always been straightforward with our Committee,” Burr said in a statement. “Director Comey has been more forthcoming with information than any FBI Director I can recall in my tenure on the congressional intelligence committees. His dismissal, I believe, is a loss for the Bureau and the nation.”

Burr’s statement was echoed by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who said “the timing of this firing is deeply troubling.”

“Jim Comey is an honorable public servant, and in the midst of a crisis of public trust that goes well beyond who you voted for in the presidential election, the loss of an honorable public servant is a loss for the nation,” Sasse said. “As the chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee, I have reached out to the Deputy Attorney General for clarity on his rationale for recommending this action.”

Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. tweeted that he had “spent the last several hours trying to find an acceptable rationale for the timing of Comey’s firing. I just can’t do it.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supported Comey’s ouster, citing Comey’s actions during the 2016 election campaign: “Given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well. I encourage the President to select the most qualified professional available who will serve our nation’s interests.”

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, acknowledged that the timing of Comey’s firing “will raise questions.”

“It is essential that ongoing investigations are fulsome and free of political interference until their completion,” Corker added, “and it is imperative that President Trump nominate a well-respected and qualified individual to lead the bureau at this critical time.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he was “disappointed” in Trump’s decision to fire Comey, calling the dismissed director “a man of honor and integrity” who “has led the FBI well in extraordinary circumstances.”

“I have long called for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election,” McCain added. “The president’s decision to remove the FBI Director only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee.”

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also weighed in, saying in a brief statement, “I have immense respect and admiration for Jim Comey. This is a tremendous loss for the FBI and the nation.”

Includes video:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/10/trump-fires-comey-reaction-to-fbi-directors-termination.html

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F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday fired the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, abruptly terminating the top official leading a criminal investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s advisers colluded with the Russian government to steer the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

The stunning development in Mr. Trump’s presidency raised the specter of political interference by a sitting president into an existing investigation by the nation’s leading law enforcement agency. It immediately ignited Democratic calls for a special counsel to lead the Russia inquiry.

Mr. Trump explained the firing by citing Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, even though the president was widely seen to have benefited politically from that inquiry and had once praised Mr. Comey for his “guts” in his pursuit of Mrs. Clinton during the campaign.

But in his letter to Mr. Comey, released to reporters by the White House, the president betrayed his focus on the continuing inquiry into Russia and his aides.

“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,” Mr. Trump said in a letter to Mr. Comey dated Tuesday. White House officials refused to say anything more about the three occasions Mr. Trump cited.

 

The officials said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, pushed for Mr. Comey’s dismissal. But many in Washington, including veteran F.B.I. officers, saw a carefully choreographed effort by the president to create a pretense for a takedown of the president’s F.B.I. tormentor.

Document: White House Announces Firing of James Comey

“I cannot defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails,” Mr. Rosenstein wrote in another letter that was released by the White House, “and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.”

Reaction in Washington was swift and fierce. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said the firing could make Americans suspect a cover-up. Mr. Trump lashed back later Tuesday night in a Twitter post: “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer stated recently, ‘I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer.’ Then acts so indignant.”

Many Republicans assailed the president for making a rash decision that could have deep implications for their party. Representative Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, said on Twitter that he now supports an independent commission to investigate the Russia links to Mr. Trump. He called Mr. Trump’s claim that Mr. Comey had cleared him three times “bizarre.”

“I’ve spent the last several hours trying to find an acceptable rationale for the timing of Comey’s firing,” Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, said on Twitter. “I just can’t do it.”

In a sign of the F.B.I.’s intense interest in Mr. Trump’s advisers, a grand jury in Virginia issued subpoenas in recent weeks for records related to the former White House national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, according to an American official familiar with the case. Mr. Flynn is under investigation for his financial ties to Russia and Turkey. Grand jury subpoenas are a routine part of federal investigations and are not a sign that charges are imminent. It was not clear that the subpoenas, which were first reported by CNN, were related to Mr. Comey’s firing.

The dismissal ended the long-deteriorating relationship of Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey, who repeatedly collided publicly and privately. For Mr. Trump, a president who puts a premium on loyalty, Mr. Comey represented an independent and unpredictable director with enormous power to disrupt his administration.

Source:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/us/politics/james-comey-fired-fbi.html?_r=0

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