Trump fires FBI director James Comey, not “able to effectively lead the bureau,”

WASHINGTON DC—US President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey in a move that has stunned Washington and what may be interpreted by some as a cover-up for Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election that led to a Trump victory.

Comey learned about his dismissal from televisions which were tuned to the news at the FBI offices in Los Angeles, California just as he was addressing the workforce there. Law enforcement sources stated that Comey had to call his office in Washington to get confirmation.

In the official letter sent to the FBI, released by the White House, Trump wrote, “It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission."

The president told Comey in the letter that he had accepted the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he could no longer provide effective leadership.

Trump went on to say: "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,” as reported by Reuters.

The unexpected decision by the Republican president ends the career of Comey, who was once seen as “the unimpeachable and a nonpartisan ideal of how law enforcement should behave,” according to a report by CNN. He had been appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama in 2013 for a term that was to continue through September 2023

In a January report, US intelligence agencies had concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin initiated efforts to disrupt the 2016 election with the intention of helping Trump win. Russia had repeatedly denied any interference in the US elections. Trump’s administration also denied any collaboration with Russia.

The Trump administration also denied allegations that there was any political motive by Trump and attributed his dismissal of Comey to the handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email servers, who was then the Democratic nominee for president.

After much criticism for his involvement in the investigation against Clinton using private email servers when she was U.S. Secretary of State under then President Barack Obama, Comey later declared in July of last year that Clinton’s email case should be closed without any criminal prosecution.

Then just 11 days before the US presidential election on November 8, Comey had sent a letter to Congress reopening the case against Clinton citing new information related to her emails. The investigation later showed no merit and was again closed.

Many Democrats, including Clinton herself, believe that Comey’s letter caused distrust in the American people, and was the main reason she lost the election to Trump.

The firing also came as a shock to FBI staff, nearly all of whom had confidence in Comey despite the controversy surrounding his handling of the Clinton email scandal, according to an FBI official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The official said there was concern among FBI agents that the firing was a political act related to the Russian investigation, Reuters reported.

However, legal experts have said that Trump’s dismissal of Comey does not mean that the probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election will come to a halt. Career FBI staffers are still able to continue the investigation, even as the search for Comey’s replacement as FBI Director begins.

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Trump fires FBI director James Comey, not “able to effectively lead the bureau,” Trump fires FBI director James Comey, not “able to effectively lead the bureau,” Reviewed by Defense Alert on 00:17:00 Rating: 5

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