President Donald Trump has fired James Comey as FBI director following recommendations of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that the bureau needs new leadership.
Trump’s decision is based on how Comey handled the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for email communications, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
Comey’s dismissal has sparked calls from some Republicans to establish an independent commission to probe whether Trump’s advisers conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Andrew McCabe, FBI’s deputy chief, has been named by the Justice Department as the bureau’s acting director as the White House begins the search for a new chief, the report added.
Rosenstein wrote in a memo obtained by CNN that Comey departed from DOJ’s traditions by holding a press conference in July 2016 to announce that the investigation into Clinton’s emails “should be closed without prosecution.”
“The goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference,” Rosenstein stated.
“The goal is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a federal criminal prosecution… and then – if prosecution is warranted – let the judge and jury determine the facts.”