Donald Trump defended his firing of James Comey in a tweet Tuesday night
Said 'Cryin' Chuck Schumer' was acting indignant for saying that he'd told the President that firing Comey was a 'very big mistake'
Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey in a letter that read: 'You are hereby terminated and removed from office immediately'
Comey found out on live TV screens in Los Angeles that he was being fired but thought it was a joke until he was briefed by his staff
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote formal memo saying they had no confidence in him
Trump used letter dismissing Comey to say: 'I greatly appreciate you informing me, in three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation'
Democrats piled on by comparing Trump to Richard Nixon who fired top justice officials in the Saturday Night Massacre but Clinton aide said: 'No comment.'
New acting FBI director is Andrew McCabe - and he too is caught in the toxic impact of Clinton as his politician wife got cash from a Hillary ally
By David Martosko, U.S. Political Editor > and Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent and Geoff Earle, Deputy Us Political Editor For Dailymail.com and Abigail Miller For Dailymail.com and Dave Burke For Mailonline
Published: 17:46 EST, 9 May 2017 | Updated: 07:46 EST, 10 May 2017
President Donald Trump has defended his sensational firing of FBI Director James Comey by mocking Senate minority leader 'cryin' Chuck Schumer.
Trump sent shockwaves through Washington when he dismissed Comey in a letter yesterday that read: 'You are hereby terminated and removed from office immediately.'
Comey, who was appointed in 2013, was dismissed after he provided false testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about classified emails from Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin found on Anthony Weiner's computer.
It took little over an hour for Democrats, led by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, to claim the firing was a cover-up attempt over Trump's alleged links to Russia.
Schumer said: 'Why did it happen today? We know the FBI had been looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians – a very serious offense. Were these investigations getting too close to home for the president?'
He then called on Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to appoint a special prosecutor to look into ties to Russia, saying: 'America depends on you to restore faith in our criminal justice system which is going to be badly shattered after the administration's actions today.'
In a tweet Trump wrote: 'Cryin' Chuck Schumer stated recently, "I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer." Then acts so indignant. #draintheswamp.'
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President Donald Trump has defended his sensational firing of FBI Director James Comey by mocking Senate minority leader 'cryin' Chuck Schumer
Recommendation: Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the president it was time for Comey to go after his evidence that Huma Abedin forwarded hundreds or thousands of emails to her husband Anthony Weiner, some of them classified, was wrong
It's over: How the White House delivered the news just after 5.30pm on Tuesday
This defense came hours after Schumer claimed that he told the President that firing Comey was 'a very bad idea'.
However, as the President pointed out, Schumer has previously been outspoken in his criticism of Comey.
In November Schumer told Bloomberg: 'I do not have confidence in him any longer.'
He said then that he was incensed by Comey's decision to write to lawmakers with details about the investigation into Clinton's private email server, less than two weeks before the election.
That being said, in Schumer's press briefing, he didn't offer up any specific support for the former FBI director, he simply pointed out the convenient timing of the firing.
'Mistake': The White House put out a dossier which consisted of anti-Comey statements from Democrats including Senator Chuck Schumer - but Schumer said the president needed to now appoint a special prosecutor to look into the claims of collusion with the Russians
Comey, 56, was blindsided by being let go. He learned about it on live television screens he could see as he addressed agents in the Los Angeles field office, the New York Times reported.
Incredibly, he told the agents he thought it was a fairly funny prank until other members of his staff took him off stage and told him it was true, the paper said.
His motorcade was seen on a Los Angeles freeway after the firing as it made its way through slow-moving traffic to a chartered Gulfstream V, which Comey boarded at Hawthorne Municipal Airport just over three hours after his termination.
The president used the firing letter to boast that Comey had told him three times he was not under investigation - a reference to allegations being touted by his opponents that he somehow colluded with the Kremlin in its bid to bring down Hillary Clinton.
Clinton, who blamed Comey for costing her the election, said 'no comment' through an aide.
The White House's deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, claimed Clinton would have fired Comey as well.
She claimed Comey had 'lost the confidence of the rank and file within the FBI', as well as both sides of the political aisle.
But the Republican senator chairing the Intelligence Committee investigation into whether Russia hacked the election, Richard Burr, added to the questions over the sacking as he said: 'I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey's termination.
Farewell: Comey was seen just over three hours after his firing as he shook hands with law enforcement officers in Los Angeles before boarding a private jet
Last gesture: Comey clapped the back of a uniformed officer as he prepared to board the jet which will fly him away from Los Angeles, where he was as the president fired him
Up in the air: Comey leaves public life effectively in disgrace after being fired by the president, boarding a chartered Gulfstream V at Hawthorne Municipal Airport in Los Angeles
On his way: In a bizarre spectacle, the ousted FBI director's motorcade was filmed on its way from the Los Angeles field office of the agency - caught in the city's notorious slow traffic
The FBI chief told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Abedin had made 'a regular practice' of forwarding 'hundreds and thousands' of Clinton-related emails to Weiner, 'some of which contain classified information'. But he was wrong - and is now being fired. Weiner is still being investigated by the FBI for sexting a 15-year-old girl
The firing happened in the late afternoon. White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters shortly after 5.30pm that 'the president has accepted the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.'
A written statement from Spicer, sent minutes later, confirmed that Trump 'acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.'
Trump said: '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.'
Full court press: Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway went on CNN three hours after the firing to defend the move and said: 'It's not a cover-up.'
How the news broke: Reporters at the White House were given copies of the press release and letter from the president just after 5.30pm, announcing Comey's sacking
Going into battle: Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders were all speaking outside the West Wing on Tuesday night to members of the media
WHAT NOW? THE CANDIDATES TIPPED TO SUCCEED COMEY
With James Comey ousted as FBI director, President Donald Trump has to select a replacement for a new 10-year term, and he is likely to reach outside the bureau to find someone to run the law enforcement agency.
Here are some possible candidates:
Rudi Giuliani has been linked with the vacant position, but his appointment is likely to be opposed by the Senate
The former New York mayor would be an attractive choice for Trump, as Giuliani was among his most vocal supporters during the presidential race and has a background in law enforcement.
However this loyalty would make his appointment unlikely, CNN reports, as he would be extremely unlikely to get the backing of the Senate.
He has been outspoken in his opposition to Hillary Clinton.
Ray Kelly, the longest-serving police commissioner in New York City, could be a natural ally of Attorney General Jeff Sessions
The longest-serving police commissioner in New York City, Kelly was in charge of the force in the years following 9/11, when terror threats were routine.
His tough-on-crime stance, including support for provocative tactics like stop-and-search, could make him a natural ally of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr Kelly defended a police operation, exposed by The Associated Press, that conducted secret surveillance of Muslims.
He could work with Trump and Sessions on anti-terrorism efforts.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie has a mixed relationship with Trump, but could bring law enforcement experience to the job
Though his relationship with Trump has been mixed, the governor of New Jersey has known the president for years and could bring law enforcement experience to the job.
He is a former Republican-appointed United States attorney in New Jersey, and he cited that background time and again during his 2016 presidential campaign.
David Clarke has been a fierce Trump supporter and has described himself as 'one of those bare-knuckle fighters'
A wild-card, but the outspoken and polarising Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, sheriff has been a fierce supporter of Mr Trump and even landed a speaking spot at last summer's Republican National Convention.
A conservative firebrand known for his cowboy hat, Mr Clarke has called himself 'one of those bare-knuckles fighters' and has been critical of what he called the "hateful ideology" of the Black Lives Matters movement.
But he would be a long shot given that a county jury recently recommended criminal charges against seven Milwaukee County jail staffers over the dehydration death of an inmate who went without water for seven days.
Trey Gowdy criticized Comey for not prosecuting Hillary Clinton over the email server investigation
The South Carolina Republican led the House committee investigation of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton's actions surrounding the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
Mr Gowdy is also a former federal prosecutor who boasts of his work on drug trafficking, bank robberies and child pornography cases.
He was among politicians critical of Mr Comey's decision not to prosecute Mrs Clinton over the email server investigation, saying other government officials would have been prosecuted if they handled classified information like she did.
Andrew McCabe was yesterday named Acting FBI Director by President Trump following Comey's dismissal
Appointed yesterday as Acting FBI director, McCabe has worked at the bureau for 21 years, having joined as a special agent in 1996.
He has expertise in counterterrorism and interrogation, but he is currently under review for his involvement in the Clinton scandal after his wife received funds from a close friend of Hillary for her political campaign in 2015.
Before McCabe was appointed as the Deputy Director of the FBI, his wife Jill McCabe ran as a Democrat for the Virginia stat senate in 2015. Her campaign received funds from the state Democratic Party and a political action committee run by Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, a close friend of the Clintons.
He has, however, been part of the same investigation which Comey was fired for, and this is likely to work against him when Trump names his pick.
Spicer added that 'a search for a new permanent FBI Director will begin immediately.'
The president informed Comey of his sacking in writing, taking the opportunity to underscore that the decision had nothing to do with any ongoing probes involving him personally.
'While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau,' the letter read in part.
The FBI deputy director, Andrew McCabe, will act as leader until there is a permanent appointment confirmed by the Senate.
COMEY: NEW VICTIM OF CLINTON'S TOXIC EMAIL SCANDAL
March 2015: It becomes publicly known that Hillary Clinton, during her tenure as United States Secretary of State, had used her family's private email server for official communications and FBI opened investigation.
May 2016: The State Department's Office of the Inspector General released an 83-page report about the State Department's email practices, including Clinton's.
July 2016: FBI director James Comey announces the bureau's investigation had concluded that Clinton was 'extremely careless' in handling her email system but recommended that no charges be filed against her. Two days later the State Department reopens its probe into the email controversy.
September 2016: DailyMail.com reveals Huma Abedin's husband Anthony Weiner has sexted a 15-year-old girl. The FBI investigates Weiner, already known as a sexting-addicted pervert, for sexual contact with a minor
October 2016: Eleven days before the election, Comey notifies Congress the FBI is reopening the case due to emails found on a laptop used by Weiner including some from Abedin's Clintonemail.com address
November 2016: Comey notifies Congress the conclusion that Clinton is in the clear is unchanged - but day slater she loses the election. Democrats blame Comey.
April 2017: Clinton surfaces to explicitly blame Comey, Russia and misogyny for her loss.
May 2017: Comey 'misspeaks' in Senate testimony, saying Abedin sent hundreds or thousands of emails to her husband. In fact she only sent the pervert a handful.
9 May: Comey is dramatically fired with immediate effect by the president.
The sacking is the latest twist in the astonishing chain of events set off by Clinton deciding to use a private server while she was Secretary of State.
Last week Comey was questioned under oath about why he had written a letter to members of Congress at the end of October revealing a renewed investigation into Clinton's handling of classified emails.
In his sworn testimony, Comey told senators that Abedin, a former top Hillary Clinton aide and Weiner's estranged wife, made 'a regular practice' of forwarding 'hundreds and thousands' of emails to her husband, 'some of which contain classified information.'
But the Justice Department sent the Judiciary Committee a letter late on Tuesday acknowledging that Comey's statement was inaccurate.
Spicer had punted earlier in the day when he was asked whether Comey's job was secure.
'I haven't asked him,' he said then. 'I have not asked the president since the last time we spoke about this.'
The FBI is also probing Comey's controversial decision to notify lawmakers just before the election that his team was re-examining its investigation into Clinton's emails by looking into messages found on Weiner's laptop.
The letter is viewed by many as costing Clinton the election, since she lost to Trump by less than a single percentage point in key swing states after polling indicated she was well in front of her opponent before the the late move.
Rosenstein told the president in writing on Tuesday: 'I cannot defend the Director's handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails.'
And Sessions wrote Trump in a letter: 'I have concluded that a fresh start is needed at the leadership of the FBI.'
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway pushed back on questions about Trump's praise for Comey's actions with respect to the Clinton investigation during the campaign as she began a White House spin assault three hours after the sacking.
'I think you're looking at the wrong set of facts here,' she told Anderson Cooper on CNN. 'In other words, you're going back to the campaign. This man is the president of the United States. He acted decisively today. He took the recommendation of his deputy attorney general,' Conway said.
'He has lost confidence in the FBI director and he took the recommendation of Rod Rosenstein,' she said, reading from Rosenstein's letter.
Asked about Senate Intelligence chair Burr's statement that he was troubled by the firing, Conway pushed back.
- >Republican Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr... >Top Trump aide taunts Hillary and Huma over election defeat... >White House under pressure over Comey after accusation that... >FBI director James Comey 'exaggerated the number of Clinton...
- >'We believed General Flynn was compromised:' Fired acting...
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'So the same senators that just voted to confirm this man whose integrity in doubt 94 to 6 two short weeks ago. We're supposed to believe the derogatory descriptions you just made of him?' she asked.
Countering Schumer's claim of a cover-up, she said: 'He's wrong. It's not a cover-up.'
'In fact the president makes very clear in his letter the fact that Mr Comey on at least three occasions assured the president that he is not under investigation,' Conway continued, upping the ante on Trump's claim of three separate assurances.
Asked when Trump got the assurances, Conway said: 'That's between the president of the United States and Director Comey.
Spicer said just last Wednesday that the president had confidence in Comey, whom former president Barack Obama appointed to a ten-year term.
Taunt: John Podesta, who could have been a senior government figure if Clinton had won after being campaign chair, rushed to twist the knife on deposed James Comey
The end: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein delivered the fatal blow to Comey. He was away from the Washington D.C. headquarters of the FBI, visiting its field office in Los Angeles and had been due to speak at a recruitment event at the Directors Guild of America building.
Fired: James Comey is being fired with immediate effect after he misled the Senate on how classified emails ended up on pervert Anthony Weiner's computer. This was the Wednesday May 3 testimony which cost him his career
But Trump had launched into a Twitter tirade against the FBI chief in the immediate wake of his testimony last week - and there were claims that the sacking had been under consideration for days, before the Abedin testimony.
'FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds!' Trump had tweeted.
Spicer told reporters then: 'The president has confidence in the director.'
Testifying about the Clinton email controversy, Comey told Senators his agents uncovered 'hundreds of thousands' of emails on the laptop of disgraced ex-Rep. Weiner that Abedin has forwarded her now-estranged husband so he could print them out for her.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
The sacking of the FBI Director sent shockwaves through politics.
'Today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement'
- President Donald Trump
- Hillary Clinton's aide
'Why did it happen today? We know the FBI had been looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians – a very serious offense. Were these investigations getting too close to home for the president?'
- Senator Chuck Schumer, Democratic Minority Leader
'I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey's termination. I have found Director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order, and his dismissal further confuses an already difficult investigation by the Committee.'
- Senator Richard Burr, Republican chair of Intelligence Committee
'This didn't work out well for Nixon. And it won't for @realDonaldTrump--or the country'
- David Axelrod, ex-Obama aide
'I have deep respect for James Comey. This is a loss to the FBI and the nation.'
- James Clapper, former director of national intelligence
'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'
- John McCain, Republican senator
But he - fatally - misspoke.
Gregory A. Brower, the FBI's assistant director in the Office of Congressional Affairs, wrote to the Judiciary Committee Tuesday afternoon to 'clarify' Comey's testimony about Abedin's role in allowing classified material to find its way to her husband's computer. Minutes after his letter emerged, his boss was fired.
Most of the 'hundreds and thousands' of emails, Brower wrote, were there as a result of backups of other devices – and not manually sent by Abedin.
Only 'two e-mail chains containing classified information were manually forwarded to Mr. Weiner's account,' he wrote.
Ten additional email chains contained classified material – all part of device backups – and 'all twelve' had already been reviewed by the FBI.
That was the fatal blow which ended Comey's service just three years into a ten-year term he was given by President Obama. He is only the second FBI director to be fired - the first was Williams Sessions, terminated by Bill Clinton over alleged improper use of an FBI plane and other questions over his spending.
Trump's historic move spread a firestorm through politics and immediately showed up fault lines in his own party.
The most worrying reaction for the White House to the firing will be that of Burr, the Republican North Carolina senator who chairs the Intelligence Committee.
In a strongly-worded statement he said: 'I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey's termination.
'I have found Director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order, and his dismissal further confuses an already difficult investigation by the Committee.
'In my interactions with the Director and with the Bureau under his leadership, he and the FBI have always been straightforward with our Committee.
'Director Comey has been more forthcoming with information than any FBI Director I can recall in my tenure on the congressional intelligence committees. His dismissal, I believe, is a loss for the Bureau and the nation.'
The possibility of a Republican backlash does not appear to have been foreseen by the White House, which consciously reached out to Democrats before the firing.
The president personally called a series of Democratic senators to tell them Comey was gone - apparently before Comey himself knew.
The first to announce she had been told by Trump was Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.
'President Trump called me at 5:30 p.m. and indicated he would be removing Director Comey, saying the FBI needed a change,' Feinstein said in a statement.
'The next FBI director must be strong and independent and will receive a fair hearing in the Judiciary Committee.'
The Trump administration distributed a one-page summary to reporters that it called 'additional background information and context' about the surprising personnel change.
It consisted of anti-Comey statements from Democrats including Sen. Chuck Schumer, the minority leader and the party's most senior election figure, who said last Wednesday of the FBI Director: 'I do not have confidence in him any longer.'
The supplemental information also cited an editorial in the Wall Street Journal that '[t]he best service Mr. Comey can render his country now is to resign.'
But Schumer emerged less than two hours after the firing to issue a broadside over it - and to reveal he too had been phoned by the President to be told the news.
He said the firing would lead to the belief Trump was engaging in a cover-up of alleged collusion with Russia in the run-up to the election.
Schumer said Trump had called him in the afternoon.
'I said, 'Mr President with all due respect you are making a very big mistake'. And he didn't really answer,' he said.
He added that unless there was a special prosecutor appointed: 'Are people going to suspect cover-up? Absolutely.'
HERO TO ZERO: FIRED FBI BOSS ENDED UP HATED BY EVERYONE
Attorney General James Comey sealed a reputation as a brave and principled actor after a 2004 standoff during the Bush administration, when he refused White House efforts to get him to reauthorize warrantless eavesdropping while Attorney General John Ashcroft was hospitalized.
Comey had been appointed deputy attorney general by President George W. Bush, having served as a U.S. attorney in New York under Rudy Giuliani in New York.
With Ashcroft incapacitated, Bush administration officials wanted Ashcroft, and then Comey, to sign off on an extension of the authority, with just hours to go before an N.S.A. program expired. Comey refused.
His stand was a major reason why President Obama nominated him to be head of the FBI in 2013. Obama hailed Comey as a person of 'fierce independence and deep integrity' as he nominated him for the FBI post, which carries a 10-year term.
A devout Catholic, a registered Republican and a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, he seemed to radiate independence from the Democratic machine.
And many congressional Democrats became far less supportive of Comey after the 2016 presidential election.
Obama's man: Republican James Comey was chosen by the Democratic president for his principled stand but ended up in the words of one senator as 'as popular as cholera'
Led by defeated candidate Hillary Clinton, many have griped about Comey's handling of the Clinton email scandal.
On July 5th, 2016, Comey personally announced the FBI's decision not to charge Clinton in connection with its investigation of her private email server and handling of classified material. He nevertheless called her conduct 'extremely careless.'
Then on October 28, he told lawmakers the bureau was reviewing newly discovered emails in connection to the investigation. The FBI had uncovered thousands of emails on disgraced ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner's laptop that had been sent to his wife, longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Comey drew the Democrats' ire once again when he announced two days before the election that the investigation hadn't turned up anything to alter the decision not to prosecute. Clinton said it only made matters worse and stole headlines.
In the congressional hearing where he made inaccurate statements about about Abedin's emails, Democrats grilled Comey about why he had not revealed the existence of an ongoing investigation into alleged Russian election interference. Comey said the FBI 'didn't say a word about' the Russia investigation until months into, whereas he had testified under oath about the existence of the Clinton investigation.
In a sign of the Democrats' belief that they can make the Comey firing a damaging issue for Trump and the Republicans, he said: 'The American people need to have faith that an investigation as serious as this one is being conducted impartially without a shred of bias.
'The only way the American people can have faith in this investigation is for it to be led by a fearless, independent special prosecutor.'
He also contradicted the White House over his backing for the move, which was implied in their dossier.
'I never called on the president to fire Director Comey,' he said.
'If the administration had objections to the way Director Comey handled the Clinton investigation, they had those objections the minute the president got into office.
'But they didn't fire him then. Why did it happen today? We know the House is investigating Russian interference in our elections that benefited the Trump campaign.
'We know the Senate is investigating. We know the FBI had been looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians – a very serious offense. Were these investigations getting too close to home for the president?'
He also opened another line of attack, this time over the role of sessions, saying: 'It is troubling that Attorney General Sessions, who had recused himself from the Russian investigation, played a role in firing the man leading it.'
Clinton, however, refused to get involved. A spokesman told CNN the 2016 loser 'has no comment at this time'.
However John Podesta, who served as Clinton's campaign chairman in 2016, snarked on Twitter that Trump was in fact under an FBI microscope.
Meet the new boss - Clinton-tainted like the old one: Andrew McCabe who will head the FBI until a permanent replacement is found had oversight of the Clinton email probe. His wife received cash for her Democratic political campaign from a close friend of the Clintons who directed it from a fundraising effort which Hillary Clinton had aided by turning up for an event
Critical questions: The White House will be troubled by the reaction of Senator Richard Burr, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, who said it complicated his investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Loser Hillary Clinton has still to react to Comey's sacking.
'Didn't you know you're supposed to wait til Saturday night to massacre people investigating you?' he asked in a tweet - a reference to President Nixon's notorious mass firings during Watergate.
Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Judiciary Committee member, said in a statement that 'while the White House is under investigation by the FBI, firing the head of the FBI raises massive questions, and the Senate should get to the bottom of it.'
Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen tweeted that '[f]iring Comey has the foul stench of an attempt to stop an ongoing investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.'
Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkeley insisted that the vacancy at the top of the FBI was a clear signal that Republicans should appoint an independent investigator to probe alleged ties between Trumpworld and Russia.
'In case the need for an independent special prosecutor to investigate #TrumpRussia ties wasn't clear enough already ... it sure is now,' Merkeley tweeted.
Former senior Barack Obama aide David Axelrod used his Twitter account to compare Trump's decision on Tuesday with former president Richard Nixon's 1973 'Saturday Night Massacre' – when Nixon fired an independent special prosecutor along with the attorney general and his deputy.
NEW CHIEF G-MAN WAS ALSO CAUGHT UP IN CLINTON SCANDAL
James Comey's deputy, Andrew McCabe, will take over the law enforcement agency.
McCabe's wife is a Democrat who ran for the state senate in 2015 in Virginia, before he was promoted to the FBI's No. 2 position.
Terry McAullife, the Virginia governor and a close friend of both the Clintons, directed $675,000 Jill McCabe's way for her campaign.
The Virginia governor's political action committee, Common Good VA, spent $467,000 on her losing campaign. The state Democratic Party gave her nearly $208,000.
A month before McAullife's PAC made its first donation to McCabe, Hillary Clinton headlined a fundraiser for the group.
As deputy director of the FBI, it was McCabe who oversaw the investigation into Clinton's secret server, as well as the bureau's investigations into alleged terrorists and spies.
He is under review by an inspector general for his involvement in the Clinton case, in light of his wife's ties to the former presidential candidate.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate's Judiciary Committee, also asked the FBI in a March letter about McCabe's role in the Russian probe and whether it 'raises the appearance a conflict of interest in light of his wife's ties with Clinton's associates.'
The Republican lawmaker asked Comey if McCabe would be recusing himself from that investigation, suggesting in the letter that McCabe faces a possible conflict of interest.
'This didn't work out well for Nixon. And it won't for @realDonaldTrump--or the country,' Axelrod wrote.
And an ex-Clinton aide suggested it was part of a vast Russian conspiracy.
'This is not on the up and up,' said Brian Fallon, the 2016 loser's ex-press secretary.
'All these months later it still stands out that Director Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation was a travesty.
'But the timing and the nature of this firing that the Trump administration is announcing now belies any possible explanation that this has anything to do with the Clinton investigation. It is clearly and act by a president who is feeling the heat from the FBI's ongoing Russia investigation.'
Robbie Mook, who had been Clinton's campaign manager, did not applaud the move that ousted the man she now says was - at least in part - her nemesis.
'Twilight zone. I was as disappointed and frustrated as anyone at how the email investigation was handled. But this terrifies me,' Mook said on Twitter.
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, another Democrat, piled on the Tricky Dick comparisons.
'The President has removed the sitting FBI Director in the midst of one of the most critical national security investigations in the history of our country – one that implicates senior officials in the Trump campaign and administration,' Leahy said.
'This is nothing less than Nixonian.'
Critics of President Trump's firing were quick to invoke Richard Nixon's infamous 'Saturday Night Massacre,' where the embattled president fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox and accepted the resignations of the two top Justice Department officials.
The sensational Oct. 20th, 1973 incident occurred as Cox was probing the Watergate scandal and cover-up and clashing with the White House over previously secret tape recordings.
First, Nixon ordered his attorney general, Elliot Richardson, to fire Cox. Richardson refused and resigned his post. Then Nixon ordered deputy attorney general William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox. Ruckelshaus also refused. Solicitor General Robert Bork then became attorney general, and went along with Nixon's demand.
FBI agents immediately sealed off the offices of Cox, Richardson, and Ruckelshaus after the firings.
How the Republicans deal with the sensational move remains to be seen.
The Senate must approve anyone the president selects to replace Comey. To be confirmed, nominees need only a bare majority of lawmakers to vote for them following a rule change that took place when Democrats were in power.
Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate and can use the vice president as a tie-breaker if they need to, meaning that Trump's nominee is all but assured to be approved.
Trump called Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is leading a Senate subcommittee probe of Russian interference, 'literally minutes' before he sacked Comey, his spokesman told the Post and Courier.
Been here before? Democrats rushed to compare firing Comey to Richard Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre - but the only previous firing of an FBI director was of William Sessions (right) in 1993 - by Bill Clinton. Sessions was let go for using an FBI plane for private visits
Graham released a statement backing up the decision.
'I know this was a difficult decision for all concerned. I appreciate Director Comey's service to our nation in a variety of roles,' said Graham, who clashed with Trump during the campaign and probed his alleged Russia ties this week.
PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON'S 'SATURDAY NIGHT MASSACRE'
Following the President's firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was the head of the investigation into collusion between Trump's administration and Russia, some were quick to ask whether or not this would be his 'Saturday Night Massacre'.
In 1973, President Richard Nixon also fired the official responsible for investigating potential wrongdoing in his administration.
On October 20, 1973, President Nixon fired independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who was head of the investigation into the Watergate Scandal.
His firing lead to the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus.
That Saturday night, news broadcast networks turned their airtime over to the 'firestorm' and 'constitutional crisis.'
The pushback against these firings was so significant that Nixon was forced to name a new special prosecutor, Texas lawyer Leon Jaworski.
The story then played out over the next 10 months, ending when a unanimous Supreme Court forced Nixon to hand over the tapes.
Their contents proved the cover-up that led to Nixon's eventual resignation.
'Given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well. I encourage the President to select the most qualified professional available who will serve our nation's interests,' Graham said.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, the committee's Republican chairman, said in his own statement that '[t]he handling of the Clinton email investigation is a clear example of how Comey's decisions have called into question the trust and political independence of the FBI.'
'In my efforts to get answers, the FBI, under Comey's leadership, has been slow or failed to provide information that Comey himself pledged to provide,' he added.
'The effectiveness of the FBI depends upon the public trust and confidence. Unfortunately, this has clearly been lost.'
There were also the first signs of a split among Republicans over the firing as John McCain, the senator who has long been a Trump critic, declined to back the move and said there needed to be a special committee to investigate the Russia questions.
'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,' he said,
'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.'
His tribute was one of the few made in Washington to Comey - who had been described last week as 'as about as popular as cholera' by one senator- although the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, did come to his aid.
Clapper, who has testified frequently alongside Comey and appeared on Capitol Hill Monday, backed up his counterpart, telling CNN: 'I have deep respect for James Comey. This is a loss to the FBI and the nation.'
THE LETTERS WHICH ENDED COMEY'S FBI CAREER
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4489966/Trump-accuses-Chuck-Schumer-hypocrisy-defends-firing-Comey.html