President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening fired FBI Director James Comey, amid rising controversy over what Comey told Congress regarding a top Hillary Clinton aide and an ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election.

Numerous Democrats are calling for appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate questions surrounding Russia, claiming the Justice Department and FBI no longer are independent.

The White House said Trump informed Comey he was being terminated based on the recommendations of both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Trump issued a firing letter to Comey, in which the president appeared to thank Comey for telling him the FBI wasn’t investigating him. The letter said.

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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. I have accepted their recommendations 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.

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 future endeavors.

In a public statement, Trump said:

The FBI is one of our nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement.

Comey last week testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Clinton confidant and campaign aide Huma Abedin forwarded “hundreds of thousands” of Clinton emails to her husband’s laptop computer. Clinton was secretary of state at the time, and some emails allegedly included classified information.

The FBI clarified in a letter to the committee Tuesday that only a “small number” of emails had been forwarded.

President Barack Obama nominated Comey in 2013 to what was supposed to be a 10-year appointment after his more than 30 years in law enforcement.

Early on as president, Trump announced he would keep Comey as FBI director,publicly giving him a hug and whispering something in his ear two days after his Jan. 20 inauguration.

President Donald Trump greets FBI Director James Comey during a Jan. 22 law enforcement event at the White House. (Photo: Pool/ABACA/Newscom)

Comey announced in July that the FBI would not recommend that the Justice Department charge Clinton for conducting official and often sensitive State Department business with a private email account over a private server.

In October, 11 days before the Nov. 8 presidential election, Comey announced the discovery of emails sent by Abedin to the laptop of her husband, former New York congressman Anthony Weiner. Two days before the election, Comey announced that the FBI had cleared Clinton.

In a public interview, Clinton recently blamed Comey in part for her loss in the presidential race.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, issued a critical statement on Comey following the news of his firing. He said:

The handling of the Clinton email investigation is a clear example of how Comey’s decisions have called into question the trust and political independence of the FBI. In my efforts to get answers, the FBI, under Comey’s leadership, has been slow or failed to provide information that Comey himself pledged to provide.

The effectiveness of the FBI depends upon the public trust and confidence. Unfortunately, this has clearly been lost.

But Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., compared the Comey firing to Watergate, saying:

President Trump’s firing of Director Comey sets a deeply alarming precedent as multiple investigations into possible Trump campaign or administration collusion with Russia remain ongoing, including an FBI investigation. This episode is disturbingly reminiscent of the Saturday Night Massacre during the Watergate scandal and the national turmoil that it caused. We are careening ever closer to a constitutional crisis, and this development only underscores why we must appoint a special prosecutor to fully investigate any dealings the Trump campaign or administration had with Russia.

Other Democrats, such as Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had other speculation.

Another member of the House oversight panel, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., thanked Comey for his service.

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, tweeted:

We have been calling for  's firing for a long time. Today, your voice was heard: 

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Replies to This Discussion

Trump to Comey: "You are not able to effectively lead the bureau" 

President Trump should have fired James Comey and every other Obama appointed official on day one.

I understand the sentiment, but that would not have been very practical, especially since Sessions and his new deputy were delayed by the Democrats in receiving their appointments.

It was just that, a sentiment.  But there were many posts President Trump could easily have done away with.

There still are stumps that need to be pulled from the swamp.  I believe it will get done in time.  However, since many of them have been put in place by the same Democrats that will vote on health care, taxes, the wall, the infrastructure plan, etc, draining the swamp may take a lot longer than I would like.

The Washington DC area got fat and rich while fly-over America struggled to make ends meet.  Now it's their turn -- what goes around comes around even for the ruling elite.

Trump suggests there may be ‘tapes’ of his private conversations with former FBI director

President Trump suggested Friday that there may be “tapes” of his private conversations with FBI Director James B. Comey, whom he fired earlier this week, in what appeared to be an attempt to threaten Comey about “leaking to the press.”

In his tweet, Trump appears to suggest that he may have recordings of his communications with Comey. But it is unclear if such tapes exist.

Trump's tweet about Comey was likely a reaction to a New York Times report, published Thursday night detailing a one-on-one dinner Trump had with Comey shortly after the inauguration. The report said that Comey has told associates that Trump twice asked Comey during their conversation to pledge his loyalty to him, something the FBI director declined to do.

During his afternoon press briefing Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked repeatedly whether the president had listening devices installed in the Oval Office. Spicer refused to confirm or deny whether Trump was taping conversations.

“I’ve talked to the president; the president has nothing further to add on that,” Spicer said. 

Spicer said that Trump's tweet about the tapes was “not a threat,” but he refused to elaborate further. The president “simply stated a fact, the tweet speaks for itself,” Spicer said.

In his tweet, Trump put the word tapes in quotation marks, indicating that there may be a some kind of record of his conversation with Comey, whether or not it's an actual audio or video recording. He used a similar construct in two of his March 4 tweets accusing President Barack Obama, without any evidence, of wiretapping his campaign offices. Trump put the words “wires tapped” in quotation marks, which Spicer later argued meant surveillance activities more broadly as opposed to physical wiretapping.

I think Trump knows he's in the clear. 

I think Trump does a great job of presenting shiny new objects to the press.  It keeps them unproductively busy while he is working for the people who helped elect him.

That's exactly what he does.  They haven't figured it out yet.

I was chatting with Robin earlier, and we noted that the way Comey was fired....miles away from his office....was perhaps so he had no chance to 'clear out' his office.  Your thoughts?

Of course that is possible.  Without knowing the intimate details of the relationship between Comey, Sessiions and Trump, it is hard to be sure.  However, since he was away from his office and the termination was "immediate", it had the effect that someone else has the responsibility for "cleaning out his desk."

I hope that 'someone' is someone trusted by Trump. 





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