The leader of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an agency with law enforcement authority in Indian Country, is out of a job after being fired by President Donald Trump.
Trump, following his election as president in November, said James Comey would stay on board as director of the FBI. But he changed his mind on Tuesday.
“The FBI is one of our Nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” Trump said in a statement.
Documents released by the White House accused Comey of making mistakes in his handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton. Trump's Democratic rival in the presidential race did not face charges for her use of a non-government email server when she served as the head of the Department of State.
But while Democratic lawmakers were unhappy with Comey's treatment of Clinton as well, politicians from both parties said firing has raised questions about a different investigation. This one is about Trump's associates and their ties to the Russian government.
“While the President has the legal authority to remove the Director of the FBI, I am disappointed in the President's decision to remove James Comey from office," Sen John McCain (R-Arizona) said in a statement. “James Comey is a man of honor and integrity, and he has led the FBI well in extraordinary circumstances. I have long called for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 election. The president's decision to remove the FBI Director only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee.”
Comey had served as director of the FBI since September 2013, having been nominated to the post by former president Barack Obama. He visited several reservation during his tenure to learn about high rates of violent crime, which he said were linked to complex and occasionally confusing jurisdictional issues in Indian Country.
Trump said he will nominate a new director. The position requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
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