White House Fires James Comey

Restoring Public Confidence in the Federal Bureau of Investigation

THE WHITE I rOUSE \\'ASIIINGTON May 9, 2017 Dear Director Comey: 1 have received the attached letters fr th om the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General of e United States recommending your dismissal as the Director of the Federa l Investigation. 1 Bureau of removed have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminat ed and ti:om office, effective immediately. While I greatly appreciate you intormin g me, on thre e separate occasi ons. that 1 investigation, I am not under n evertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of not able to effective Justice that you arc ly lead the Bureau. It i s essential that we find new leader sh ip f or its vital law enforce m the FBI that restores public trust nnd con1iclence in ent mission. 1 wish you the best of luck in your future endeavor s.

®ffke of

U. S. Depar tmen t of .Justice Office of the Deputy Attorney General The IJcpuly Attorney General \Vas hingtoll , D.C. 20530 May 9, 2017 MEMORANDUM FOR THE ATTORNEY

Memorandum for the Attorney General Page 2 Subject: R estoring Pub lic Confid ence in the Feder al Bureau of Investigat ion In r esponse to skeptical questions at a congressional h earing, the Director def e r nded his emarks by saying th at his "goal was t o say what is true. What did we do, what did we find , do we t what hink about it." But the goal of a federal criminal investigation i thoughts at a s not to amwunce our press conference. The goal is to determine whet justify her there is suffi cient evidence to a federal criminal prosecution, then allow a federal prosecutor who exe del rcises authority egated by the Attorney General to make a prosecu tori al decision, and th en - if wananted- let the judge and jury prosecution is determine t closed investigations in appropriate he facts. We somet imes release inform ation about w ays, but the FBI does not do it sua sponte. Concerning his l etter to the Congress on Octo ber 28, 2016, the Direct or as a cast his decision choi ce betw een whether h e would "speak" about the FBI's discovered email m decision to investigate the newly- ess ages or "conceal " it. "Conceal>' is a l When federal agents and prosecutors:>aded term that misstates the issue. s qui etly open a crim inal inves tigat ion, we are not conceal anyt hing; ing p we are simply following the longstanding policy that we refrain from publicizin g non- ubli c information. In that context, silence i s not concealment. My perspective on thes e i ssues is shared by fo rmer Attorneys General a Atto rneys G nd Deputy ener al from di fferent eras and both politica l served as D parties. Judge Laurence Silberman, who eputy Attorney General unde r President Ford, wrote that "it r is not the bureau's esponsibility to opine on whether a matt er shou l d be prosecuted." Silberman believes that t Director's he "performance was so inappropriat e for an FBI director that [ will ever completely r he] doubt[s] the bureau ecover." Jamie Gorel i ck, Deputy Attorney General un d Clinton, jo er President ined with Larry Thompson, Depu ty Attorney General under President George W. Bush, to opine that the Dir ecto r had "chosen personally to rest rike tra nsparenc y the balance between and fairness, departing from the department 's Director viol ated his obligation to "prtraditions." They concluded that the eserve, protect and defend" the traditi on s of Department and the FBI. the Fotmer Attorney Gene r al Michael Mukasey, who served unde r Pres i Bush, observed that the Director "sdent George W. tep ped way outside his job in in disclo sing the recommendation tha t fashion " because the FBI director "doesn't make that decisi on . also served as Attorney General u" Alberto Gonzales, who nder President G eorge W. Bush, call ed the decision

Memo r andum for the Attorney General Page Subject: 3 Restoring Public Conf1dence in the Federal Bureau of Investigation past elections." Ayer's l ette r noted, "Perhaps most troub ling ... is the precedent set by depat1ure this from the Department's widely-r espected, non-partisan traditi ons." We should reject the departure and return to the traditions. Although the President has the power to remove a n FBI director, the decision shou be taken ld not lightly. I agree with the nearly unanimous opinions of former Department officials. way The the Dir ecto r handled the co nclusi on of the ema il investigation was wrong. As a result, FBI the is unlikely to re gain public and congressiona l trust until it has a Director who the understands gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his error the s, Dir ec to r catmot be expected to implement the necessary correc tive actions.

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 based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “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,” said President Trump. A search for a new permanent FBI Director will begin immediately. ###

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