President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey, and the real reason why was laid out in a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
“The president has accepted the recommendation of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told CNN Tuesday afternoon.
Trump told Comey that he considered him no longer “able to effectively lead the bureau” in a letter terminating him.
“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 wrote. “I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”
A copy of a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, obtained by PBS, argued that the “reputation and credibility” of the FBI had suffered under Comey’s leadership and “affected the entire Department of Justice.”
Rosenstein took Comey to task in the memo for concluding that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should not have been prosecuted for maintaining an unsecure email server in her home, through which classified material had been sent and received, and for publicly announcing his opinion.
“It is not the function of the director to make such an announcement,” Rosenstein wrote in the memo. “At most, the director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to the attorney general.”
The deputy attorney general also argued that Comey’s release of “derogatory information” about Clinton — whom Comey called “extremely careless” with regard to how she handled classified information in the now-famous news conference in which he made that announcement — was improper.
“It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do,” he wrote.
You can read the first page of that memo here:
According to CNN, Comey, an appointee of President Barack Obama, was set to serve until 2023, and while some considered Trump’s decision questionable due to Comey’s involvement in the left’s never-ending quest to link the president with Russian hackers, even Trump detractors like Sen. Lindsey Graham said he supported the move.
“Given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well,” Graham said in a statement released to CNN. “I encourage the president to select the most qualified professional available who will serve our nation’s interests.”
Comey has also been blamed — along with Russian boogeymen — for Hillary Clinton’s loss in last year’s presidential election, which ought to leave some Democrats stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do they defend the man they claim helped cost Clinton the election, or do they support a move made by a president they despise?
I’m willing to bet they go with the former, but only time will tell.