Wednesday 21 February 2018

FBI director Comey found out he was fired 'after hearing it on the news'

FBI Director James Comey. Photo: Reuters
FBI Director James Comey. Photo: Reuters
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

FBI director, James Comey, allegedly found out that he had been fired after seeing it on the news while he gave a speech in Los Angeles.

According to the New York Times, Mr Comey was addressing a group of FBI employees when he saw the news of his termination flash on a TV screen.

Mr Comey was then allegedly taken into a nearby office where his staff confirmed that he had been fired.

Shortly after, a letter from Mr Trump was delivered to the FBI’s headquarters, just seven blocks from the White House.

The US President abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey last night, dramatically ousting the nation’s top law enforcement official in the midst of an FBI investigation into whether Trump’s campaign had ties to Russia’s election meddling.

In a letter to Comey, Trump said the firing was necessary to restore “public trust and confidence” in the FBI.

Comey has come under intense scrutiny in recent months for his role in an investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s email practices, including a pair of letters he sent to Congress on the matter in the closing days of last year’s election.

A memo was also released by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about Comey's actions.

"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.

Rosenstein identified several areas in which he said Comey had erred, saying it was wrong of him to "usurp" then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch's authority by announcing the initial conclusion of the email case on July 5.

Comey "announced his own conclusions about the nation's most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders," Rosenstein wrote.

Comey also "ignored another longstanding principle" by holding a news conference to "release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation."

With reporting from Press Association

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