by Itunuoluwa Adebo
President Trump on Tuesday fired FBI director James Comey, stripping the man who is responsible for the bureau’s investigation into a collision between Russian and Trump campaign team of his position.
The bombshell announcement that sent ripples of shock and surprise through Washington ends the career of the man who was once seen as the ideal of how a law enforcement officer should behave. Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is now the acting director of the FBI.
The Trump administration attributed Comey’s dismissal to his handling of the investigation into Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s email sever, but the Democrats would have none of it suggesting Comey was getting too close to the White House with the Russia probe.
In a signed letter released by the White House, Trump informed Comey that he was “hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately,” explaining that he reached the conclusion that Comey is “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,” Trump told Comey in the letter. “I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours.”
The former director learned of his dismissal from televisions tuned to the news, as he was addressing the workforce at the FBI office in Los Angeles. Sources said he joked about it to lighten the mood and called his office to confirm.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a letter explaining the grounds for Comey’s dismissal accused Comey of attempting to “usurp the attorney general’s authority” by publicly announcing why he felt the Clinton’s case should be closed without prosecution.
“We should reject the departure and return to the traditions (of the bureau),” Rosenstein said.
“The way the director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.”
Comey was appointed by former President Barack Obama and his tenure was to end in 2023.