The Truth Report: Why President Trump Fired FBI Director Comey?
An ATP Report Production – On This Episode Barry Nussbaum explains why President Trump felt it was necessary to fire James Comey as director of the FBI
Welcome to The Truth Report, I’m Barry Nussbaum.
James Comey, the FBI director fired Tuesday by President Trump, learned of his ouster while addressing agents at the FBI field office in Los Angeles. Comey was talking to the agents when news of his firing appeared on televisions tuned in to news channels.
Trump fired Comey earlier Tuesday ending a rocky year-long stretch for America’s top cop who came under fire for his handling of the Clinton email probe, and whose agency has been investigating whether Trump’s campaign had ties to Russia.
The President told Comey in a brief letter that he could not “effectively lead” the bureau and called for “new leadership that restores public trust and confidence” in law enforcement.
Today on The Truth Report will examine why President Trump felt it was necessary to fire James Comey as director of the FBI, only the second director to be dismissed while on the job and how key people are reacting to the firing.
The firing of Comey flows directly from his highly criticized conduct of July 5, 2016. On that day, Comey publicly acknowledged that a massive body of evidence was accumulating against then candidate Hillary Clinton and described it at some length during a press conference. He also acknowledged the former Secretary of State probably broke the law when she used hacker-friendly home based private email servers to conduct official business, contrary to State Department rules. After airing Clinton’s many transgressions, Comey gave her a pass. “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”
After listing the crimes committed inexplicably, Comey concluded that he recommends against prosecution even though such a determination is expressly not part of his job!
Attorney General Jeff Sessions had requested an opinion from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who didn’t hold back in a long letter delineating Comey’s missteps. He lambasted Comey both for his July statement that Hillary Clinton would not face indictment and for Comey’s October 28th letter announcing the reopening of the Clinton investigation.
“I cannot defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken,” Rosenstein wrote. “Almost everyone agrees that the director made serious mistakes.”
Rosenstein continued by saying “the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.”
In Rod Rosenstein’s letter, he argued that the “reputation and credibility” of the FBI had suffered under Comey’s leadership and “affected the entire Department of Justice.” Rosenstein took Comey to task in the memo for concluding that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should not have been prosecuted for maintaining an unsecure email server in her home, through which classified material had been sent and received, and for publicly announcing his opinion.
“It is not the function of the director to make such an announcement,” Rosenstein wrote in the memo. “At most, the director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to the Attorney General.” The Deputy Attorney General also argued that Comey’s release of “derogatory information” about Clinton, whom Comey called “extremely careless” with regard to how she handled classified information in the now famous news conference in which he made that announcement, was improper. “It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do,” he wrote.
Now you know why it happened, next let’s examine how key people are reacting.
Three former assistant directors of the FBI, James Kallstrom, Bill Gavin and Ron Hosko, all thought Comey sealed his fate after his July 5th press conference in which he assumed the role of a prosecutor and recommended no charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.
“I’m glad it happened,” Kallstrom said of Comey’s firing. “I think Jim Comey way back almost a year ago kind of forgot he was the FBI director. Jim Comey danced with the devil, and later on down the road talked about this great investigation the FBI conducted,” he said. “Of course, they had no subpoena power, they couldn’t compel any investigation or search warrants. They had to beg people to look at things. The interview of Hillary Clinton, in my view, was a sham.” Comey “threw the FBI under the bus, and the reputation of the FBI under the bus,” Kallstrom added. “That’s what I am very mad about and have been very mad about for a long time.”
Gavin said Comey’s firing was “something that had to happen.”
“Jim Comey is a bright guy, he’s an ethical guy, but the bottom line is when he made a prosecutive opinion in an investigative matter he made a mistake,” he added. “We all make mistakes in life, this was a big one that was obvious to everyone.”
Hosko said Comey’s firing was “shocking” but he wasn’t surprised in the least bit. “Certainly there are going to be some FBI who think [Comey] went too far back in July,” Hosko said. “I think, that is, reasonable minds can agree, the province of the prosecutor.”
He thought Comey was forced to “throw himself on a grenade” over former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s airport tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton. Comey’s firing was the “price he had to pay,” Hosko said.
Here’s a list of key Democrats’ comments before the firing was announced:
Hillary Clinton blamed her losing the election on Comey.
Senator Chuck Schumer said he does “not have confidence in FBI director Comey any longer.”
Congresswoman Maxine Waters said “the FBI director has no credibility.”
Senator Bernie Sanders said it “would not be a bad thing for the American people” if Comey stepped down.
Former President Barack Obama said the FBI should “not operate with innuendo… or leaks.”
Former Senator Harry Reid called for an investigation into the FBI director himself.
Congressman Steve Cohen wrote that “for the sake of the FBI, Comey should resign.”
Congressman Hank Johnson said that his “confidence in the FBI director’s ability to lead this agency has been shaken.”
Hillary Clinton advisor and Bill Clinton campaign manager James Carville said Comey worked for the republicans.
Senator Tim Kaine V.P. candidate compared Comey to Hoover taping Martin Luther King.
Senator Barbara Boxer said Comey’s public decision to investigate Huma Abedins emails was a “betrayal.”
TV commentator Keith Olbermann said Comey needs to “resign immediately.”
The Washington Post’s editorial board said Comey was “not doing his job.”
The New York Times said, “Mr. Comey’s breathtakingly rash and irresponsible decision, had undermine(d) the American people’s trust in the nation’s top law enforcement agencies.”
Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager had also hinted that Comey might have to step down because of his bias against Hillary.
I don’t think it is necessary to report to you, that almost every single democrat who was previously calling for Comey to be fired, is now outraged that Comey has been fired.
James Comey wrote a letter to a number of FBI staff addressing his dismissal and acknowledging the U.S. President is well within his powers to remove the FBI head.
“I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI director for any reason, or for no reason at all,” Comey stressed in the letter revealed by CNN.
Stay in touch, we will be following up on this story! You can write to me directly by sending me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. And go to our website where you can sign up to be on our mailing list so you never miss an important episode.
You can handle the truth, and we intend to bring it to you! I’m Barry Nussbaum.