Trump fires FBI Director James Comey

(WMC) - President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey.

In a statement, Trump says Comey's firing "will mark a new beginning" for the FBI. The White House says the search for a new FBI director will begin immediately.

Comey's firing comes days after he testified on Capitol Hill about the FBI's investigation into Russia's election meddling and possible connections between Russia and Trump's campaign.

"The president has accepted the recommendation of the Attorney General and the deputy Attorney General regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation," Sean Spicer told reporters in the briefing room on Wednesday.

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tenn) released the following statement after Comey's firing was announced:

"I have said to my colleagues and to the public for over four months that FBI Director James Comey would do the right thing in the Trump-Russia investigation. I also believed President Trump wouldn't fire him unless he felt that Director Comey threatened his presidency. This is sadly reminiscent of the Saturday Night Massacre when President Nixon fired Justice Department officials that threatened his presidency. Two days ago, I tweeted that I hoped Director Comey would be next year's recipient of the Profiles in Courage Award because of the Trump-Russia investigation, but President Trump has effectively vetoed that award. I call on Speaker Paul Ryan to immediately appoint a bipartisan, non-classified, public, and transparent commission to investigate the Trump-Russia relationship. Our democracy is in danger."

Congressman David Kustoff (TN-08) also released a statement regarding Comey's termination.

"As a former U.S. Attorney, I understand the importance of maintaining public trust in our federal law enforcement. I thank Director Comey for his years of tireless public service, and I encourage the President to carefully nominate a highly-qualified replacement for this critical role."

Other Democrats joined Cohen in insisting on an independent prosecutor to investigate possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia following FBI Director James Comey's firing.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California tweets: "I've said it before and will again - we must have a special prosecutor to oversee the FBI's Russia investigation. This cannot wait."

Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, stood on the Senate floor and said he would await word from the White House on whether the investigation will continue.

Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says Comey was fired from his post as FBI director because the law enforcement agency needs a "fresh start."

In a letter addressed to President Donald Trump and released by the White House, Sessions says the FBI director must be someone who follows "faithfully the rules and principles" of the Justice Department. Sessions also says the individual must be someone who "sets the right example" for law enforcement officials and others in the department.

Session did not go into detail in the one-page letter dated Tuesday in which he recommended to Trump that Comey be removed as FBI director.

Comey sent a letter to Congress on Tuesday correcting his testimony on Huma Abedin's emails. Abedin was a top aide to Hillary Clinton.

The letter said Comey testified that Abedin had forwarded "hundreds and thousands" of emails to the laptop of her then-husband former Rep. Anthony Weiner.

The corrected testimony said that only a small number of emails on the laptop were a result of forwarding. The rest occurred as backup from other devices, the AP reports.

He was responsible for overseeing the FBI's investigation of the Hillary Clinton email controversy during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

His decisions during the election are regarded by many analysts to have cost Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton the election.

President Barack Obama appointed Comey to the position of FBI director in September 2013.

Before this, Comey was senior vice president for Lockheed Martin. Comey also served as the United States Deputy Attorney General from 2003 to 2005.

After J. Edgar Hoover's 48-year tenure as FBI director, the position is now a 10-year term, appointed by the president and confirmed by Senate.

The only other FBI director to be fired was William S. Sessions, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan during the Iran Contra affair, and asked by President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno to resign.

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