President Donald J Trump relieved James B. Comey of his duties as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Tuesday afternoon. Although not unexpected, the battered Comey had been clinging to the last shreds of a dignified career, derailed over Hillary Clinton’s emails. The action is effective immediately, and Mr. Comey received a termination letter from the President.
The termination comes on the heels of a strong recommendation by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and a week after Comey’s poor showing while providing testimony, May 3, to the U.S. Senate:
“I have concluded that a fresh start is needed at the leadership of the FBI,’’ Sessions wrote. “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.
Rosenstein, earlier today, released the contents of his letter to Sessions:
“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.”
Unanswered inquiries at this hour by Republicans and Democrats are divided in nature as Comey was in charge of the investigation into Trump’s alleged ties with Russia before the election. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) received a personal call from Trump late Tuesday afternoon. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) also received a call; both senators serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Graham’s reserved response acknowledged the positive role that Comey had played, claiming “a difficult decision for all concerned.” Senator Feinstein responded in a statement, “The next FBI director must be strong and independent and will receive a fair hearing in the Judiciary Committee.”
Other noted Democrats were suspicious:
Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, who’s made a name for himself as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, blasted Trump for his decision to oust Comey and called it the “Tuesday Afternoon Massacre,” referencing the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” during President Richard Nixon’s term in office when he fired the independent special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal, which led to subsequent resignations from his attorney general and deputy attorney general.
Calls for a new overseer of the investigation into Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia will follow, as another bump in Trump’s administration has dislodged more questions than answers. An exciting and uncertain future for the storied FBI is unfolding and will continue to be front page news. Liberty Nation will, of course, keep you updated.
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