May 9, 2017 (WASHINGTON) In a stunning development, the White House has fired FBI Director James Comey. The statement from the White House reads as follows:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2017
Statement from the Press Secretary
Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office. President Trump acted on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“The FBI is one of the 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.
The last time a White House fired law enforcement officials involved in an investigation was Watergate. This is when the Richard Nixon Administration fired Archibald Cox and disbanded the Watergate Commission.
The reaction to this breaking news has been fast and furious. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has reacted fast with this statement on the firing.
This is happening in the context of the FBI investigation into Russian ties by many of the Trump allies. This is in the midst of a counterintelligence investigation. The reaction in Washington has ranged from stunned to anger.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that this was a grave mistake on the part of the president and that a special prosecutor, that is not tied to the White House in any way, has to be appointed. Otherwise, what are they hiding, and this only increases the distrust of the people in the political system, and particularly justice.
We also would like to point out why Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.
Attorney General Sessions Statement on Recusal
Attorney General Jeff Sessions today issued the following statement:
“During the course of the confirmation proceedings on my nomination to be Attorney General, I advised the Senate Judiciary Committee that ‘[i]f a specific matter arose where I believed my impartiality might reasonably be questioned, I would consult with Department ethics officials regarding the most appropriate way to proceed.’
“During the course of the last several weeks, I have met with the relevant senior career Department officials to discuss whether I should recuse myself from any matters arising from the campaigns for President of the United States.
“Having concluded those meetings today, I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.
“I have taken no actions regarding any such matters, to the extent they exist.
“This announcement should not be interpreted as confirmation of the existence of any investigation or suggestive of the scope of any such investigation.
“Consistent with the succession order for the Department of Justice, Acting Deputy Attorney General and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Dana Boente shall act as and perform the functions of the Attorney General with respect to any matters from which I have recused myself to the extent they exist.”
There are calls from other Senators for Rosenstein to appoint a special prosecutor.
And this is the reaction from Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), intelligence committee vice-chairman in the Senate.
This will be very serious and the obvious winner in this is Russia. After all, this continues to divide the country. That is a policy goal for the Russians.
Adding the comment from Adam Schiff, ranking member of House Intelligence
We are also adding the reaction from Kevin De Leon, Speaker of the California Assembly. While state legislators have no role in this federal matter, they do have a voice.
And this is from Congresswoman Susan Davis from the CA 53 district
With each passing day, it’s clear that we are not going to get to the truth on Russian interference unless we have an independent investigation.
Susan Collins, Republican Senator from Maine has also reacted to this.