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President Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey.
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) May 9, 2017
The White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, released a written statement, which read, “Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office. President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“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,” said President Trump.
A search for a new permanent FBI Director will begin “immediately.”
In an NPR published White House letter from the President informing Comey of his decision, Trump alluded to Comey’s role in the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections and “possible ties to the Trump campaign and top aides” by writing, “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
In the letter President Trump added, “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 has held the power to hire and fire the director of the FBI at his discretion since 1968. Since that date there has only been one other FBI Director fired by a president. In July 1993 President Bill Clinton fired FBI Director William S. Sessions, who was appointed by President Reagan in 1987.