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Yesterday afternoon, President Trump sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey terminating him effective immediately from his position as the head of the nation’s highest law enforcement agency. Speculation ensued and opinions flew from both sides of the aisle regarding his dismissal. Here’s what you need to know:

The letter from the White House said that Comey was fired at the recommendation of the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein. Attorney General Sessions sent a letter to President Trump yesterday recommending the removal of Director Comey, saying a “fresh start is needed at leadership of the FBI.” He emphasized that the Department of Justice needs to “reaffirm its commitment to longstanding principles that ensure the integrity and fairness of federal investigations and prosecutions.”  The memorandum from the Deputy Attorney General to the President also placed significant emphasis on the need to restore confidence in the FBI.

Opinions on Comey had been fluctuating as he cleared Hillary of wrongdoing in the FBI’s investigation into use of private, personal servers for classified information and official communication during her time as Secretary of State. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein highlighted his handling of Secretary Clinton’s emails as an issue he “could not defend” as there was a “nearly universal judgement that he was mistaken.” Though Democrats hailed him a hero in clearing Clinton during election season, after her failure to secure the presidency, they turned the blame on him. Clinton came out recently saying that she believed she “had the ballot” until Director Comey publicly announced that he might reopen the investigation. Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour “I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on Oct. 28 and Russian Wikileaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off, and the evidence for that intervening event is compelling, persuasive”.

Comey and the FBI were currently investigating Russia’s alleged interference in the November election, and if Trump or his campaign had any ties to Russia.

Some members of Congress have voiced concern that Comey’s firing might hinder the investigation into possible ties Russia had to the election in November. Richard Burr, a Republican who is leading the Senate investigation into Russian interference said he was “troubled by the timing and reasoning” of the decision. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic Minority Leader said he told President Trump he is making a “very big mistake.”

There have been allegations that Comey’s firing has “more to do with Comey’s role in investigating Trump’s allies over alleged links to Russian interference in the 2016 election” than his performance at FBI Director, as reported by The Guardian. In his letter, President Trump cited Comey’s firing was due to recommendations by the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, as well as his inability to “effectively lead the bureau.”

The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that Comey had requested more money and resources for the FBI’s investigation into Russia before being fired. However, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said it is ‘totally false’ that Mr. Comey asked Mr. Rosenstein for any additional funds for the Russia investigation.

No nomination has been made to the position of FBI Director yet. Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe is acting director until a new head of the FBI is selected.

Corrie L
FFL Cabinet Member
Corrie is a Cabinet Member at FFL. She is passionate about coffee, Jesus, and lipstick, and never wears white after Labor Day. If she isn't busy talking about law school or FFL, you can find her studying constitutional law or reviewing a contract. Her plan A is Super Mom turned Supreme Court Justice, and she hopes to one day be just like Sandra Day O"Connor.

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