James Brien Comey,Jr.  born December 14, 1960 is an American lawyer who served as the seventh Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from September 4, 2013 until his dismissal on May 9, 2017.  

Comey was a registered Republican for most of his life, but has recently described himself as unaffiliated.

Comey was the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York from January 2002 to December 2003, and subsequently the United States Deputy Attorney General from December 2003 to August 2005 in the administration of President George W. Bush. Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to be the Special Counsel to head the grand jury investigation into the Plame affair after Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself.

In August 2005, Comey left the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and became general counsel and senior vice president of Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda, Maryland.

 In 2010, he became general counsel at Bridgewater Associates, based in Westport, Connecticut. In early 2013, he left Bridgewater to become a Senior Research Scholar and Hertog Fellow on National Security Law at Columbia Law School. He served on the board of directors of HSBC Holdings until July 2013.

In September 2013, Comey was appointed Director of the FBI by President Barack Obama.   In that capacity, he was responsible for overseeing the FBI's investigation of the Hillary Clinton email controversy. His role in the 2016 US presidential election, particularly with regard to his public communications, was highly controversial.

His decisions are viewed by some analysts as having possibly cost Clinton the election.   Comey also received heavy criticism from Republicans, in part after it was revealed that he had begun drafting an exoneration letter for Clinton before the investigation was complete.

Comey was dismissed by President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017. Statements from Trump and the White House suggested that he had been dismissed to ease the “pressure" Trump was under due to the Russia investigation.

On May 16 Comey released his internal FBI memo he had written after a February 14 private meeting with the president. It said Trump had asked him to end the FBI's investigation into Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor. The dismissal, the memo, and Comey’s subsequent Congressional testimony were interpreted by some commentators as evidence of obstruction of justice and became part of a widening investigation by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel appointed to probe Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

FBI director,  found out he had been fired as just like the rest of us: By watching it on television.  The move, announced late Tuesday via a letter sent from President Donald Trump to Comey, marked the most unpredictable moment of a presidency that through its first 100-plus days has been the least orthodox in memory. 

It also ramped up criticism of Trump’s judgments - Comey was tasked with leading the investigation into Russia’s meddling into the 2016 campaign and what, if any, collusion had occurred between Trump campaign operatives and Russian intelligence officials -- and left official Washington reeling over a move considered unthinkable as recently as this week. Lots more coming and a zillion dollar book deal in the works.


President Trump formally dismissed Comey on May 9, 2017, less than 4 years into his 10-year term as Director of the FBI. The White House initially stated the firing was on the recommendation of United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, both men whom Comey reported to.

Rosenstein had sent a memorandum to Sessions, forwarded to Trump, in which Rosenstein listed objections to Comey's conduct in the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.   

This allowed the Trump administration to attribute Comey's firing to Rosenstein's recommendation about the Clinton email controversy. It was later revealed that on May 8, Trump had requested Sessions and Rosenstein to detail in writing a case against Comey.

Rosenstein's memo was forwarded to Trump on May 9 and was then construed as a recommendation to dismiss Comey, which Trump immediately did. In Trump's termination letter to Comey, he attributed the firing to the two letters from Sessions and Rosenstein.   On May 10, Trump told reporters he had fired Comey because Comey "wasn't doing a good job".

By May 11, however, in a direct contradiction of the earlier statements by the White House, Vice President Mike Pence, and the contents of the dismissal letter itself, President Trump stated to Lester Holt in an NBC News interview that Comey's dismissal was in fact "my decision" and "I was going to fire Comey regardless of recommendation by Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein.

 Trump later said of the dismissal "when I decided to just do it fire Comey, I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.  In the same televised interview, Trump labelled Comey "a showboat" and "grandstander". 

On May 12, Trump tweeted "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!",[152] which the media, political and legal analysts, as well as opposition politicians, interpreted as a threat to Comey.[153][154][155][156]

On June 22, faced with a subpoena for the tapes that Trump alluded to, Trump issued a tweet stating "I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.

Hours later, when asked to clarify the non-denial denial wording of Trump's tweet regarding the tapes, Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that Trump's tweet was "extremely clear" and that she did "not have anything to add".

Questions raised for clarification on Trump's tweet centered principally around whether Trump ever had knowledge of said tapes having ever existed and whether he is simply no longer privy to the knowledge of whether said tapes still exist; whether Trump currently has or ever had knowledge of a person or persons other than Trump having made said tapes or recordings, and; whether Trump currently has or ever had knowledge of a person or persons other than Trump currently having or previously having had in their possession said tapes or recordings. US Representative for California, Democrat Adam Schiff, stated that Trump's tweet “raises as many questions as it answers," and that in any event, the tweet did not comply with the 23 June deadline, and that Schiff would move forward with subpoenas for the tapes, adding that “ regardless of whether the President intends his tweets to be an official reply to the House Intelligence Committee, the White House must respond in writing to our committee as to whether any tapes or recordings exist."

On May 19, the New York Times published excerpts of an official White House document summarizing Trump's private meeting in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, the day after firing Comey, where Trump appeased the top Russian foreign operatives with his firing of Comey. 

He confided to them, "I just fired the head of the FBI... I faced great pressure because of the investigation into collusion with Russia. That's taken off by his firing of Comey.  

"He was crazy, a real nut job," he explained to the diplomatic duo.  According to reports, Trump had been openly talking to aides about finding a reason to fire Comey for at least a week before both the dismissal and the requesting of memoranda from Sessions and Rosenstein the day prior to the dismissal. Trump was angry and frustrated when, in the week prior to his dismissal, 

Comey revealed in Senate testimony the breadth of the counterintelligence investigation into Russia's effort to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He felt Comey was giving too much attention to the Russia probe and not enough to internal leaks to the press from within the government.[147][163] Shortly before Comey was fired, Comey had requested additional money and resources to further expand the probe into Russian interference into the Presidential election.[13] Trump had long questioned Comey's loyalty to Trump personally, and Comey's judgment to act in accordance to a loyalty to Trump.[164] Moreover, Trump was angry that Comey would not support his claim that President Barack Obama had his campaign offices wiretapped.

Comey's termination was immediately controversial. It was compared to the Saturday Night massacre, President Richard Nixon's termination of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who had been investigating the Watergate scandal, and to the firing of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates in January 2017. Many members of Congress expressed concern over the firing and argued that it would put the integrity of the investigation into jeopardy.  Critics accused Trump of obstruction of justice.

In the dismissal letter, Trump alleged that Comey had told Trump "on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation.   Fact checkers reported that while they have no way of knowing what Comey may have told Trump privately, no such assertion is on the public record of Comey directly stating that Trump is not personally under investigation.   In Congressional testimony, Comey confirmed that on three occasions, he volunteered to Trump that the latter was not personally under FBI investigation.

Comey first learned of his termination from television news reports that flashed on screen while he was delivering a speech to agents at the Los Angeles Field Office.  Sources said he was surprised and caught off guard by the termination. Comey immediately departed for Washington, DC, and was forced to cancel his scheduled speech that night at an FBI recruitment event.

On May 10, Comey sent a letter to FBI staff in which he said, "I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI director for any reason, or for no reason at all.   I'm not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won't either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply."

According to Comey associates interviewed by news organizations, Trump had asked Comey in January to pledge loyalty to him, to which Comey demurred, instead offering him "honesty".   Comey has indicated he is willing to testify about his dismissal in an open hearing.   He declined an invitation from the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify before a closed-door session.

In the absence of a Senate-confirmed FBI director, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe automatically became Acting Director.  On May 11, McCabe testified before the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that "Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does" and that "the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey". This contradicted White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said she had heard from "countless" FBI agents in support of the firing.

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