Trump fires FBI Director James Comey on advice of AG Sessions
May 9 (UPI) — In a surprise move Tuesday, President Donald Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James B. Comey, following a misstep last week and recommendations from top officials at the U.S. Department of Justice.
The White House confirmed Comey’s firing Tuesday afternoon.
“President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” spokesman Sean Spicer said in a statement.
“The FBI is one of our nation’s most cherished and respected institutions,” he continued. “Today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement.”
Spicer said the search to replace Comey, the bureau’s chief since 2013, will begin immediately.
The reason for Comey’s dismissal was not immediately made clear, but it followed the revelation Tuesday that the FBI director made a mistake while testifying in Congress last week — when he falsely testified that former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin had forward “hundreds of thousands” of emails to the laptop of her estranged husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner.
The FBI clarified the erroneous testimony in a letter to Congress earlier Tuesday, addressed to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
“Most of the emails found on Mr. Weiner’s laptop computer related to the Clinton investigation occurred as a result of a backup of personal electronic devices,” the letter read.
The FBI noted the clear distinction between manually forwarding emails and having them uploaded via standard backup processes. The bureau said of nearly 50,000 emails on Weiner’s computer that were pertinent to the Clinton investigation, it found that only two with classified information were forwarded manually by Abedin and 10 were sent via the backup process — a substantial difference from Comey’s claim of “hundreds of thousands.”
All 12 of the emails containing classified material had been previously reviewed by FBI investigators, who ultimately recommended no charges against Clinton last summer.
The FBI’s letter also said Comey misspoke last week when he testified there were about 2,000 open counterterrorism investigations involving refugees in the United States. The bureau said it only has about 300 open cases.