President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired FBI Director James Comey, who had been leading an investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the presidential election.
“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,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday.
Trump’s campaign aides are the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia on the hacking and release of Democratic National Committee documents during the 2016 elections. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former top adviser to Trump’s campaign who was, until Tuesday, Comey’s boss at the Justice Department, has recused himself from that investigation.
Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommended Comey be removed from his post in letters to Trump Tuesday.
Comey had been ensnared in controversy for months over his handling of the FBI’s investigations into Russian involvement in the election and former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
“Almost everyone agrees the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives,” Rosenstein wrote in his letter to Trump.
When the FBI concluded its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server in July, Comey took the unusual step of holding a press conference, explaining the FBI’s reasoning for recommending no criminal charges be brought against the then-Democratic presidential nominee. Democrats and some former Justice Department staffers criticized Comey, who spent the bulk of the press conference criticizing Clinton’s handling of classified emails, for speaking publicly about the result of a criminal investigation.
Here’s Trump’s letter to Comey:
Here’s the letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions recommending Trump fire Comey:
Here’s the letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein explaining the reasoning for firing Comey:
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.