The Director of the FBI under the Trump administration, James Comey, has been fired, White House officials say.
“Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that hes has been terminated and removed from office,” the White House said in a statement.
Comey’s termination comes after he made inaccurate statements to Congress regarding Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her handling of sensitive emails. That is in addition to an ongoing controversy between Trump and the FBI head over his investigation into allegations of Trump campaign collusion with the Russians and an attempt to tamper with the election process.
“I have concluded that a fresh start is needed at the leadership of the FBI,” wrote Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a letter to the president.
The FBI was not initially aware of the termination, the New York Times reports, but it was effective immediately.
President Trump’s letter to Comey informing him of his firing was also released today.
“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,” Trump wrote to Comey. “It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”
Rod J. Rosenstein, the newly sworn-in deputy attorney general, urged the administration to fire Comey over his handling of the Clinton investigation.
Democratic Oregon Senator Ron Wydan said in a Tweet earlier today that “Comey should be immediately called to testify in an open hearing about the status of Russia/Trump investigation at the time he was fired.”
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