MIAMI (CBSMiami) — James Comey is out of the FBI, according to White House officials.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the White House said “President Donald Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office. President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”
In a letter from President Trump to Comey on Tuesday, the president wrote,
“I have received the attached letters from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General of the United States recommending your dismissal as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.
While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.
It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”
It remains unclear exactly why the president fired Comey.
Earlier on Tuesday, FBI was looking for a way to correct the record after Comey’s dramatic testimony about his decision to reveal he’d reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
FBI has acknowledged some inaccuracies in what Comey told lawmakers last week.
Testifying before a Senate panel, Comey spoke for the first time about his decision to go public 11 days before the 2016 presidential election about its investigation into Clinton’s emails.
“Look, this was terrible. It makes me mildly nauseous to think we that we might have had some impact on the election, but honestly it wouldn’t change the decision,” said Comey last week.
On October 28th, Comey notified Congress after agents found emails on a laptop Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin shared with her husband – disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Now the FBI is acknowledging some inaccuracies in Comey’s testimony saying he misspoke about the number of emails.
“His then spouse Huma Abedin seems to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him to I think print out for her so she could send to then Secretary of State,” said Comey.
Comey was expected to be back on Capitol Hill Thursday to testify again.
Comey did tell lawmakers in last week’s hearing the bureau could not prove criminal intent and did not recommend charges against Abedin, Weiner, or Clinton.
Clinton has pointed to the email episode as one of the reasons she lost the election.
After Comey’s disclosure in October, Abedin’s lawyer said in a statement that Abedin had no idea how the emails got onto the shared laptop. Some officials say it may have been from using the machine to back-up her Blackberry.
Democrats are questioning the timing of the firing.
“This is part of a deeply troubling pattern from the Trump administration. They fired Sally Yates. Now they’ve fired Director Comey, the very man leading the investigation. This does not seem to be a coincidence,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
Sen. John McCain tweeted that Comey’s removal confirms the need for a select committee to investigate Russian interference in the election.
Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe is in charge of the bureau for now.