Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Ouster of FBI's Comey tests Trump appointee Rosenstein

Freda Brock | 10 May, 2017, 14:35

In his letter to Mr Comey, he asserted that the FBI Director had informed him "on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation".

But the White House circulated a scathing memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, criticising Ms Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation, including the director's decision to hold a news conference announcing its findings and releasing "derogatory information" about Mrs Clinton.

Sen. John McCain added: "While the President has the legal authority to remove the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I am disappointed in the President's decision to remove James Comey from office". "I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors".

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said in a statement that he was "troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey's termination".

James Comey is only the second director in the FBI's storied history to be fired.

Sessions said the Department of Justice was "committed to a high level of discipline, integrity and the rule of law", and "a fresh start is needed".

Comey's dismissal followed the revelation Tuesday that he made a mistake while testifying in Congress last week. Indeed, Trump revealed his anger in a string of late-night messages on Twitter May 2, exactly a week before his final decision was made public.

He said Abedin had a "regular practice" of forwarding emails to the laptop to be printed out for Clinton, saying at one point that "hundreds and thousands" had been forwarded, including some containing classified information. "Nearly everyone agrees that the director made serious mistakes".

After much criticism for his involvement in the investigation against Clinton using private email servers when she was U.S. Secretary of State under then President Barack Obama, Comey later declared in July of previous year that Clinton's email case should be closed without any criminal prosecution.

He said that "this cascading situation demands the prompt appointment of an independent Special Counsel to pick up the pieces of these investigations".

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Comey confirmed earlier this year that the FBI was investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian attempts to influence the USA presidential election.

At the time, Trump praised Comey for having "guts" and doing "the right thing", statements that complicate his assertion that now, seven months later, Comey's decisions warranted firing. "We also need to hear directly from former Director Comey about the FBI investigation and related events". But Democrats were quick to call the move "Nixonian", saying that the decision by Trump was part of an effort to impede the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation which, in the view of many leading Capitol Hill Democrats, could now only be managed by a special prosecutor going forward.

"Why did it happen today?" asked Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, of NY. Senate minority leader Charles Schumer asked, saying the administration has known about Comey's handling of the Clinton case for almost a year.

The FBI and three congressional committees have been investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible Trump connections.

Q. This was completely unexpected, what do we know about why the president did this?

Behind the apparent Democratic turnabout: While his pronouncements about his probe into Clinton's handling of emails infuriated them, he's also the man who'd been looking into whether Trump's campaign had colluded with Russians. The investigation later showed no merit and was again closed. "These two are heavily connected with Trump and could be disastrous for his credibility", Hannington says.

"This smacks of an obstruction of justice", Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said. "It's clearly part of a cover-up, and it's part of a pattern - he fired Yates, he fired [U.S. Attorney] Preet Bharara, and now he fires Comey". Lynch, who had come under fire for a brief meeting with former President Cliinton, was under a cloud of suspicion. "You can't control your own investigator".

Many critics of Mr Trump's sacking of Mr Comey are making comparisons with disgraced former president Richard Nixon, when he sacked special prosecutor Archibald Cox in 1973.

Nixon's presidential library in California commented on Comey's firing.

"It's outrageous to see a sitting President fire the FBI director during an active investigation into potential collusion with a foreign government, ' Kaine said".

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