President Donald Trump today caused a political quake by firing FBI chief James Comey on a surprise bout of an investigation into possible ties to the tycoon’s campaign with Russia in the 2016 election.
“The FBI is one of our nation’s most esteemed and respected institutions and today marks a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” Trump said in a statement issued by his spokesman, Sean Spicer.
Spicer said Trump “acted on the clear recommendations of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” and noted that “the search for a new FBI director will begin immediately.”
The president himself today sent a letter to Comey, who was traveling in California when the news broke, in which he informed him of his dismissal “with immediate effect.”
“While I greatly appreciate your being informed on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation, I still agree with the Justice Department conclusion that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau,” says Trump.
In that way, the republican ruler makes in the missive an apparent allusion to the research of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on the nexuses between Russia and the election campaign of the tycoon New York.
“It is essential that we find a new leader for the FBI who will restore public confidence in his vital law enforcement mission,” the president said in a letter released by the White House.
Trump did not explain the reason for his decision, but Rosenstein clarified that the former FBI former member lost his job for violating Justice Department principles by speaking publicly about Hillary Clinton’s investigation of e-mail management when he served as secretary of State (2009-2013).
Deputy Attorney General commented on the press conference that Comey gave July 5 to announce that Clinton would not be charged for using private email servers for official affairs in her tenure as head of US diplomacy, which cleared her path As a Democratic candidate for the White House.
“The reputation and credibility of the FBI have suffered substantial damage, and has affected the entire Justice Department,” Rosenstein wrote in a memo.
The announcement of the dismissal happened after it was learned today that Comey gave last Wednesday, under oath before Congress, erroneous data on the investigation of the mails of Clinton that reopened last October, barely eleven days of the elections.
The day before Comey’s appearance, Trump wrote on the social network Twitter that the FBI director was “the best thing that had happened to Hillary Clinton because she gave him a free pass for so many bad deeds.”
Known for his untimely reactions, Trump shocked Washington’s political class today – not expecting Comey to cease – by making an unprecedented decision since 1993, when then-President Bill Clinton dismissed William Sessions as head of the FBI.
The measure also evoked the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre,” when Richard Nixon on October 20, 1973, ordered the dismissal of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, in charge of the “Watergate” case, which in 1974 made him the only US president in resign.
“This is an extraordinary moment in American history … It’s a grotesque abuse of power by the US president,” CNN network expert Jeffrey Toobin said, resembling Comey’s dismissal Of Cox.
The opposition also harshly criticized Trump and Senate Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer called for the immediate appointment of an independent special prosecutor to direct the investigation of Trump and Kremlin campaign links.
“This is Nixonian,” Democrat Senator Bob Casey said of Nixon, while Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Tom Perez called the dismissal “a shameful abuse of power.”
Likewise came reproaches from some fellow Republican Trump, like Senator John McCain, who declared himself “disappointed” by the dismissal of Comey, whom he defined as “a man of honor and integrity.”
While Washington’s political scene was a hive, Comey canceled an intervention at an event in Los Angeles, after receiving “by surprise” and “unprepared” the president’s decision, an FBI source told the Los Angeles Times.
The e-mail scandal marked last year’s election campaign, and Hillary Clinton herself blamed Comey for her defeat in the election, which Trump won, for raising doubts about her behavior within days of the vote.
In his appearance before a Senate committee last week, James Comey said he felt “nauseous” when he thought his investigation of Clinton could have an impact on the outcome of the election.