Dismissal of James Comey

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
(Redirected from Comey memos)
Jump to: navigation, search
Letter from President Donald Trump dismissing FBI director James Comey

James Comey, the 7th director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was dismissed by U.S. President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017.[1] Comey had been under public and political pressure as a result of both the FBI's role in the Hillary Clinton email controversy and the FBI's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections,[2] which also involves a possible collusion with the 2016 Donald Trump campaign.[3]

Trump dismissed Comey by way of a termination letter, in which he said the dismissal was recommended by the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General.[4] But Trump soon stated that he had intended to fire Comey regardless of any recommendation.[5] Subsequently, Trump criticized Comey's leadership and credibility at the FBI.[4] He then said he believed dismissing Comey would relieve pressure he had felt from the Russia investigation,[6] which he called a "witch hunt".[7] Trump's advisers have said that he was extremely frustrated that Comey would not publicly say that Trump was not under investigation.[8]

Shortly after his termination, Comey asked a friend to quote excerpts to the press of a memo he had written while FBI Director, recounting a private conversation with Trump in February 2017.[9] According to Comey, Trump had asked him to "let go" of potential charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.[10] In light of the dismissal, the memo, and Comey's testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017, several media figures, political opponents and legal scholars said that Trump's acts could be construed as obstruction of justice, while others said his actions did not rise to that level.[11][12][13][14]

Following Comey's dismissal, Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation into Russian meddling and related issues that Comey had supervised during his tenure.[15]


File:Comey Nominated.jpg
President Barack Obama (right) and Comey (left) in the White House Rose Garden, Washington, D.C., June 21, 2013, as Obama announced Comey's nomination as FBI Director

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is appointed by the President and, since 1972, confirmed by the Senate.[16] Since 1976, the director's term has been limited to ten years,[17][18] "an unusually long tenure that Congress established to insulate the director from political pressure."[19] The term can be extended with the approval of the Senate. Nevertheless, though the FBI director is appointed for a 10-year term, the president has the power to dismiss an FBI director for any reason.

Before becoming FBI director, Comey, a Republican, served in the George W. Bush administration as deputy attorney general.[20][21] He was appointed FBI director by President Barack Obama, and that nomination drew broad bipartisan support.[20][21] Comey was confirmed by the Senate in 2013 by vote of 93-1.[22]

During his tenure as FBI director, Comey emphasized the need for the FBI to be independent from politics and avoid the "political winds".[23] Comey sought to insulate the FBI from politics, but beginning in 2015 the Bureau became embroiled in investigation that affected the 2016 presidential election.[21] In March 2015, it came to light that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had used a private e-mail server for her work as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. The FBI launched an investigation to determine whether Clinton had violated the law and whether national security had been breached. In July 2016 Comey announced that he was not recommending that any charges be brought against Clinton. The decision was decried by Republican leaders and candidates, including then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. In late October 2016, Comey announced that the investigation was being re-opened because of additional documents that had been obtained. Two weeks later he announced that no new information had been discovered and the investigation was again being closed.[24] The announcement of the re-opened investigation was seen by many observers as unnecessary and harmful to Clinton's campaign. Others complained because the second investigation did not yield a prosecution.

On October 7, 2016,[25] the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly stated that individuals working on behalf of the Russian government had hacked servers and e-mail accounts associated with the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign and leaked their documents to WikiLeaks.[26] This would be confirmed by numerous private security experts and other government officials. The FBI launched investigations into both the hackings, and contacts between Trump associates and Russia.

In January 2017, Comey testified to Congress confirming Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and confirmed an ongoing investigation although he refused to comment specifically on the Trump organization. President-elect Trump stated his intention to keep Comey as the FBI director. In March, Comey finally confirmed that the FBI was investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia. He also refuted Trump's allegations that the Obama administration had wiretapped him.[24]

During the weeks leading up to May 9, grand jury subpoenas were issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alexandria, Virginia, to associates of Michael Flynn for the purpose of obtaining records relating to the investigation of Russia's role in the election. News outlets became aware of these subpoenas on May 9.[27][28]

Trump's dismissal of Comey on 9 May 2017, four years into Comey's ten-year term,[19] raised the issue of possible political interference by a sitting president into an existing investigation by a leading law enforcement agency,[19][17] as well as other issues. Although presidents have occasionally clashed with FBI directors,[17] Comey's dismissal was only the second time that a president has dismissed an FBI director.[19][17] The only other occasion was under "dramatically different circumstances":[29] in 1993 President Bill Clinton fired FBI Director William S. Sessions after a Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility report—published under Clinton's predecessor, George H. W. Bush—accused Sessions of tax evasion and other ethical lapses.[30][31]

In May, Comey gave additional testimony before the Senate regarding the Clinton e-mail investigation and the Russia investigation.[24] News media reported that Comey requested additional personnel from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to expand the probe into the Russia investigation,[32] but this was later denied by Andrew McCabe during his testimony to Congress on May 11.

The dismissal

Termination letter

Comey's official portrait as the seventh Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

On May 9, 2017, President Trump sent a termination letter to James Comey:

Dear Director Comey:

I have received the attached letters from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General of the United States recommending your dismissal as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.

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.

It is essential that we find new leadership that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.

I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
— Donald J. Trump

Reasons for dismissal

Based on recommendation of Attorney General

Letter from Atty. General Sessions recommending the dismissal
Opinion from Deputy Atty. Gen. Rosenstein (3 pages)

On May 8, 2017, Trump directed Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to make a case against Comey in writing. On Trump's direction, on May 9, Rosenstein prepared and delivered a memorandum to Sessions relating to Comey. Rosenstein's memorandum presented critical quotes from several former attorneys general in previously published op-eds, and Rosenstein concluded that their "nearly unanimous opinions" was Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation was "wrong." In his memo Rosenstein asserts that the FBI must have "a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them." He ends with an argument against keeping Comey as FBI director, on the grounds that he was given an opportunity to "admit his errors" but that there is no hope that he will "implement the necessary corrective actions."[33] Rosenstein also criticized Comey on two grounds: for usurping the prerogative of the Justice Department and the Attorney General in his July 2016 public statements announcing the closure of the investigation into Clinton's emails, and for making derogatory comments about Clinton in that same meeting.[34] Both of these actions, he argued, were in conflict with longstanding FBI practice. To Comey previous defence of his extraordinary action, saying that Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict of interest, Rosenstein argued that in such a case, it is the duty of the Attorney General to recuse herself, and that there is a process for another Justice Department official to take over her duties.[35]

Sessions, in his letter to Trump, cited Rosenstein's memo as the reason for his own recommendation that Comey be dismissed. In the dismissal letter, Trump cited the recommendations by Sessions and Rosenstein as the reason for Comey's dismissal.[4][36]

Based on other reasons

Several other reasons were soon offered. On May 9, a statement by the White House claimed that Comey had "lost the support" of "rank and file" FBI employees, so that the President had no choice but to dismiss him.[37] However, FBI agents "flatly rejected" this assertion,[38] saying that Comey was in fact relatively well-liked and admired within the FBI.[39] In testimony given to the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 11, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe contradicted the White House's claim that Comey had lost the confidence of the FBI rank-and-file, saying that Comey "enjoyed broad support within the FBI and does to this day."[40] Comey, in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, objected strongly to Trump's description of the FBI as "in disarray" and "poorly led". "The administration chose to defame me, and more importantly the FBI," Comey said. "Those were lies, plain and simple."[41][42]

Trump himself seemed to contradict the White House claim that he had acted because of the Clinton email issue identified by Rosenstein. On May 10, he told reporters he fired Comey "because he wasn't doing a good job".[43] On May 11, Trump said that he was going to fire Comey irrespective of any recommendation from the Justice Department.[44][45] On May 18, Rosenstein told members of the Senate that he wrote the dismissal memo while knowing that Trump had already decided to fire Comey.[46] Rosenstein had been contemplating firing Comey for many months.[47]

Within a few days, Trump and other White House officials directly linked the dismissal to the FBI's Russia investigation. During a May 10 meeting in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Trump told the Russian officials "I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job." He added. "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off....I’m not under investigation." The details of the meeting were reported on May 15.[48] On May 11 Trump told Lester Holt in an NBC News interview, "When I decided [to fire Comey], I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story",[6] while reiterating his belief that there was no proof Russia was behind any election interference.[49][50] White House officials also stated that firing Comey was a step in letting the probe into Russian election interference "come to its conclusion with integrity".[51][52] White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders expressed the hope that firing Comey would help bring the Russia investigation to an end.[53]

Other reasons have been offered. Insider sources have claimed that Trump was furious at Comey for refusing during March to back up Trump's wiretap accusations against former President Barack Obama, as well as not defending him from accusations of collusion with the Russian government.[54][55] According to Comey associates interviewed by The New York Times, Associated Press, and CBS News, Trump had asked Comey in January to pledge his loyalty to him, and Comey declined to make this pledge, saying that he would give him "honesty" and what Trump called "honest loyalty".[56][57][58] Trump denied that he asked Comey for his loyalty, but says such a discussion would not necessarily have been inappropriate.[59] On June 7, 2017, during an interview with MSNBC, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated that it's "obviously" inappropriate to the president ask to the FBI director for loyalty.[60] According to sources, this discussion about loyalty was one reason why Trump wanted to replace Comey with a new FBI director, loyal only to him, who would redirect the investigation away from Trump associates.[55][61][62] Another source told The Atlantic that Trump fired Comey because Trump was concerned about what Flynn would testify in court.[63] The next day, several FBI insiders said Comey was fired because "he refused to end the Russia investigation."[64] Prior to the firing, senior White House officials had made inquiries to intelligence officials, such as "Can we ask [Comey] to shut down the investigation? Are you able to assist in this matter?"[65]

Announcement of dismissal

President Trump had the letter dismissing Comey delivered in a manila folder to FBI headquarters[54] in Washington in the evening of Tuesday, May 9, and a press statement was made by Sean Spicer at the same time.[34] Comey was in Los Angeles that day giving a speech to agents at the Los Angeles Field Office, and Comey learned of the termination through a news report being telecast while he was speaking. (Sources said he was surprised and caught off guard by the termination.) Comey immediately left for Washington, D.C., and cancelled another scheduled speech that night at an FBI recruitment event.[66]

Timing of the dismissal

Observers were suspicious of the timing of the dismissal, given the ongoing Russia investigation. (Comey's suitability for the job was not as great an issue, with many Democrats having previously called for Comey's resignation or doubted his credibility.)[67][68][69][70][71][70][72] In an interview with CNN, President Trump's Counselor Kellyanne Conway denied that Comey's dismissal was part of a White House cover-up of the Russia investigation.[73] The dismissal took place just a few days after Comey reportedly requested additional resources to step up the Russia investigation; however the Justice Department denied that such a request was made.[54][74][32] On May 9, before the dismissal, it was revealed that federal prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas to Flynn's associates, representing a significant escalation in the FBI's Russia investigation.[27][75]

Comey was scheduled to testify at the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 11.[76]

Other events of May 9

On the same day, May 9, President Trump hired a law firm to send a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any business or other connections to Russia, "with some exceptions". The law firm itself turned out to have "deep ties" to Russia, and had even been selected as "Russia Law Firm of 2016".[77][78] No evidence was provided in the letter itself, such as tax returns.[79] The letter was a response to earlier statements by Senator Lindsey Graham stating that he wanted to know whether there were any such ties.[3]


Media reports had cast doubt on the original justification for Comey's dismissal. In a report based on anonymous interviews with White House staff, CNN reported that Trump's decision to fire Comey had been made first, with Sessions' and Rosenstein's letters being drafted to justify the decision.[5] According to an anonymous source who spoke to The Washington Post, they were instructed to do so by Trump on May 8. The same source also said that Rosenstein had threatened to resign after his letter was cited as the primary reason for Comey's dismissal.[80] Other media noted the disconnect between the dismissal and Trump's praise of Comey's actions in the campaign and throughout his presidency until a week beforehand.[81]

News commentators characterized the termination as extraordinary and controversial. CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin went so far as to characterize it as an "abuse of power".[82] It was compared to the Saturday Night Massacre, President Richard Nixon's termination of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who had been investigating the Watergate scandal.[83] John Dean, White House Counsel under President Nixon, called it a "a very Nixonian move" saying that it "could have been a quiet resignation, but instead it was an angry dismissal".[84] Among the two reporters noted for investigating the Watergate scandal, Bob Woodward said that "there is an immense amount of smoke" but that comparisons of the Comey dismissal to Watergate were premature,[85] while Carl Bernstein said that the firing of an FBI director overseeing an active investigation was a "potentially more dangerous situation than Watergate."[86]

The New York Times' Editorial Board published an editorial slamming the move, calling Trump's explanation "impossible to take at face value" and stating Trump had "decisively crippled the FBI's ability to carry out an investigation of him and his associates".[87]

Democratic Senator Chuck Shumer renewed his call for a special prosecutor to investigate Russia's involvement in the election and its influence on members of the Trump campaign and administration.[88][89] Republican Senator John McCain renewed his call for a special congressional committee to investigate.[90] Democratic Representative Adam Schiff observed that Sessions had previously recused himself from involvement in the Russia investigation and suggested that recommending Comey's termination violated that pledge because Comey was the lead investigator.[91] In addition to the criticisms from Democratic leaders, some Republican leaders also expressed concern, including Richard Burr, Roy Blunt, Bob Corker, Justin Amash, and others.[92][93] Other Republican leaders came to Trump's defense including Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham.[94]

Senator Al Franken called Sessions' actions in recommending Comey's dismissal a breach by Sessions of his commitment in March 2017 to recuse himself from anything to do with the investigation into ties between Trump's team and Russia, as well as from the Clinton email controversy. Franken called Sessions' action a "complete betrayal" of his promise to recuse.[95]

Immediate response from the White House regarding concerns from congressional leaders and the media was limited. White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told Tucker Carlson of Fox News that it was time to "move on" from accusations of collusion between Trump and Russia, but added that "Comey's firing would not impact the ongoing investigations": "You will have the same people that will be carrying it out to the Department of Justice. The process continues both, I believe, in the House and Senate committees, and I don't see any change or disruption there."[96][97] Kellyanne Conway denied that Comey's dismissal was part of a White House cover-up.[73] Trump furthermore commented on Twitter, mocking Senators Chuck Schumer and Richard Blumenthal, saying that Schumer "stated recently, 'I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer.' Then acts so indignant" and that Blumenthal "devised one of the greatest military frauds in U.S. history".[98]


Criticism of Trump's decision came immediately from various experts on governance and authoritarianism,[99][100][101][102] and various politicians from across the political spectrum.[88][89][103] Top Republican politicians supported the firing.[104] Many elected officials called for a special prosecutor or independent commission to continue the investigation into Russia's influence on the election,[103] while some Republicans stated that such a move would be premature.[104]

Reactions from within the FBI

File:FBI Acting Chief Contradicts Trump on Comey.webmhd.webm
'FBI Acting Chief Contradicts Trump on Comey'. Video from Voice of America.

Comey was generally well-liked within the FBI, and his sudden dismissal shocked many FBI agents, who admired Comey for his political independence. Agents were stunned that Comey was fired in the midst of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.[39][38] The dismissal reportedly damaged morale within the Bureau.[39][38] The way that Comey had first learned that he had been fired—from television news reports, while he was in Los Angeles—also angered agents, who considered it a sign of disrespect from the White House.[38]

Messaging from the White House

File:WATCH Trump Tweet Not A Threat Spicer Says.webmhd.webm
Trump tweet "not a threat", Spicer says. Video from Voice of America.

News reports indicated that President Trump continued to be surprised and frustrated by the reactions to Comey's termination, both from the political leadership and from the media. Immediately after Trump's termination announcement, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Sessions and other administration associates stated that Trump fired Comey solely on the recommendations of Sessions and Rosenstein.[105] In an interview with Lester Holt of NBC News on May 12, 2017, Trump indicated that the dismissal was connected to the Russia investigation, saying "When I decided [to fire Comey], I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story".[6] He described Comey as a "showboat" and a "grandstander", while suggesting that the FBI had been "in turmoil". Trump stated that he had been planning to fire Comey regardless of recommendations.

Several Democratic members of Congress – among them, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and California Rep. Maxine Waters – and some commentators suggested that Trump's rationale for Comey's dismissal in the interview amounted to a de facto admission to obstruction of justice.[106][107][108][109][110]

Administration officials struggled with messaging and media reports indicated frustration among the officials in trying to keep up with the President's thinking. Vice President Mike Pence was reportedly rattled by the changing messaging as he attempted to support the President.[111] According to media sources, morale within the White House plummeted in the days immediately following and the President isolated himself not only from the media but from his own staff.[111] Interaction between the Press Secretary's office and the President was strained. Following the termination announcement, Sanders took over press briefings from Press Secretary Sean Spicer, because Spicer had duties with the Navy Reserve.[112][113] Spicer eventually resumed the briefings.

In a May 12 Twitter post, Trump appeared to threaten to release recordings of his discussions with Comey in the form of unidentified tapes, tweeting: "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!," a statement taken by many Democrats and commentators also as an attempt to intimidate Comey into not discussing details of the investigation during intelligence committee hearings.[114][115][116][117] In another post later that morning, Trump also suggested that the White House might stop hosting the daily press briefings altogether, and that he would instead take over the communication role himself "for the sake of efficiency," which some media outlets took as him expressing disdain for criticism of the White House's communications staff's handling of messaging administration issues.[113][118] When asked by reporters at that day's press briefing about Trump's claim of having taped conversations with Comey, Spicer refused to state if any tapes existed, or whether there is a recording system in the Oval Office.[119] He stated that the tweet was not a warning or a threat, but just a statement of facts.[120] When asked whether he has recordings in the Oval Office, Trump responded "Well, that I can't talk about. I won't talk about that."[121] Trump refused to confirm or deny the existence of tapes when asked, but has stated that it falls under his right to hold private property and his executive privilege as the current President of the United States.[citation needed] This has been heavily disputed, as any recordings from the White House are government property under the Supreme Court decision United States v. Nixon, and must not be destroyed.[122][123] On May 15, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request on all documents related to Comey's dismissal, which would include any Comey tapes that exist.[124]

On June 9, in response to Comey's testimony the day before, Trump's lawyer threatened to file legal complaints against Comey for sharing his memo with Richman and the press. Kasowitz said he intends to file a complaint with the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee, against Comey for revealing "privileged" information. However, the memo was not classified and Trump had not invoked executive privilege with regard to his discussions with Comey.[125] Also, the Inspector General has limited jurisdiction since Comey no longer works for the Justice Department.[126] Some commentators suggested the threat could amount to intimidation of a witness.[125] On June 28 Bloomberg reported that Trump's attorneys are postponing the threatened complaint, although they still intend to file it eventually. The postponement is reportedly intended as a courtesy to Special Counsel Mueller and an attempt to back away from the White House's confrontational attitude toward him.[127]

May 10 meeting with Russian officials

In an Oval Office meeting the day after Comey's dismissal, Trump reportedly made a comment to visiting foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak about the firing: "I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job," adding "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off." The comments were recorded in official White House notes made during the meeting.[48][128][129]

Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, was contacted by The New York Times, and he did not contest the accuracy of the statements by Trump to the Russians.[130] A government official quoted by the newspaper said that Trump was using a negotiating tactic, creating "a sense of obligation with Russian officials".[48]

FBI investigation of Trump

Assurances to Trump by Comey

In the Comey termination letter, Trump asserted that Comey had told him on three separate occasions that he (Trump) was not under investigation.[131] The assertion has been challenged.[132] Fact checkers reported that while they had no way of knowing what Comey may have told Trump privately, no such assertion was on the public record, and the White House declined to provide any more detail.[133] According to a May 10 article in The Washington Post, sources knowledgeable about the matter stated that Trump's assertion as well as other assertions made by Trump about events leading up to the dismissal were false.[134][135]

In the written opening statement for his June 8 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey said he had assured Trump on three separate occasions that he personally was not the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation.[136] Comey said Trump repeatedly pressed for him to say so publicly, but Comey cautioned that might not be a good idea for legal reasons.[136] Comey added that Trump's private comments urging him to drop the Flynn probe led him to tell his Justice Department colleagues they needed to be careful.[137] Comey also indicated that he had prepared notes on each of his interactions with Trump and had arranged for them to be publicly released.[137]

Trump's private lawyer Marc Kasowitz declared in a statement that Comey's testimony made Trump feel "completely and totally vindicated".[138][139] However, on June 16 following newspaper reports that the special counsel is investigating him for obstruction of justice, Trump tweeted: "I am being investigated" and called the investigations a "witch hunt".[140] Trump's lawyer later clarified that Trump has not been notified of any investigation.[141]

Possible existence of recordings

In a Twitter post on May 12, Trump implied that he may have conversations with Comey on tape,[142] saying, "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"[142] The possibility of the existence of secret tapes created pressure on Trump to make any tapes and other evidence available to investigators.[142] In subsequent interviews and White House briefings, Trump and his spokespersons have refused to confirm the existence of the 'tapes' or even to indicate the nature of these 'tapes'. In an interview with Fox News, Trump declined to comment on whether he has listening devices in the White House. Trump's top spokesman refused to comment on whether listening devices are active in the Oval Office or elsewhere.[142]

In his June 8 testimony, Comey said "I've seen the tweet about tapes. Lordy, I hope there are tapes!" He added that he would consent to the release of any such recordings.[143]

The possible existence of recordings had taken a life of its own, with Trump refusing to acknowledge their existence,[144] and members of Congress, from both parties, calling on Trump on June 9 to say once and for all whether they exist, and others calling for them to be provided, by subpoena if necessary.[145] The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), set June 23 as the deadline for the White House to hand over any tapes, if they exist, adding that if the White House did not comply with the deadline, he would move forward with subpoenas for the tapes.

On June 22, Trump tweeted:

I have no idea [...] whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.[146]

Commentators noted that Trump's tweet merely denied personal involvement in the making of recordings and denied his present knowledge and present possession of said recordings. The tweet failed to deny, however, that recordings do or did exist,[147] that Trump ever had past knowledge of their existence, or that they may have been made by a third party other than Trump whom Trump is or was aware of.

When asked to clarify the non-denial denial wording of Trump's tweet several hours later, Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that Trump's tweet was "extremely clear" and that she did "not have anything to add".[148]

Questions raised for clarification on Trump's tweet centered principally around whether Trump previously had knowledge of said tapes having ever existed and whether he has simply removed himself from being privy to the knowledge of whether said tapes still exist; whether Trump currently has or ever had knowledge of a person or persons other than Trump having made said tapes or recordings; and whether Trump currently has or ever had knowledge of a person or persons other than Trump currently having or previously having had in their possession said tapes or recordings.

Schiff stated that Trump's tweet “raises as many questions as it answers," and that in any event, the tweet did not comply with the 23 June deadline, and that Schiff would move forward with subpoenas for the tapes, adding that “[r]egardless of whether the President intends his tweets to be an official reply to the House Intelligence Committee, the White House must respond in writing to our committee as to whether any tapes or recordings exist."[147]

On June 23, in a letter to House and Senate Committees investigating the Russian interference, the White House copied and pasted Trump's non-denial denial tweet of the previous day in answer to their query.[149] On June 29, in a joint statement, leaders of the US House Intelligence Committee, Republican Representative Mike Conaway and Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, said they had written to the White House to press it to comply fully with their June 9 request, adding "Today's letter from the committee makes clear that should the White House not respond fully, the committee will consider using compulsory process to ensure a satisfactory response".[150]

The New York Times report of June 22 added, "Some legal experts have said that Mr. Trump’s threat could be used in an obstruction of justice case against him, since it could be interpreted as putting pressure on Mr. Comey not to discuss their conversations about the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation."[146]

Comey memos

On May 16, 2017, it was first reported that Comey had prepared a detailed memo following every meeting and telephone call he had with President Trump.[151][152][153]

February 14 meeting

One memo referred to an Oval Office meeting on February 14, 2017, during which Comey says Trump attempted to persuade him to abort the investigation into Michael Flynn.[151][152][154] The meeting had begun as a broader national security briefing, the day after Trump had dismissed Flynn as National Security Advisor. Near the conclusion of the briefing, the President asked those in attendance other than Director Comey to leave the room — including Vice President Pence and Attorney General Sessions. He then reportedly said to Comey "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."[152] Comey made no commitments to Trump on the subject.[152]

The White House responded to the allegations by stating that "the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn," and "this is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey."[151]

Leaks to the press

The Comey memos were first mentioned in a May 16, 2017, New York Times article, published about a week after Trump had dismissed Comey as FBI director, and four days after he had implied on Twitter that his conversations with Comey may have been recorded.[142] The report cited two people who read the memos to the Times reporter.[152] The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post independently reported on the memos' existence.[151][155]

In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, Comey revealed that he had been the source, through a friend (later revealed to be Columbia Law School professor Daniel Richman), of the public revelation of his February 14 memo. He said he decided to make it public in hopes that it might "prompt the appointment of a special counsel". Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel the next day.[9]

On May 19, another friend of Comey, Lawfare Blog founder Benjamin Wittes, came forward as the principal source for the initial New York Times story.[156]

Congressional requests

Jason Chaffetz letter to FBI demanding to produce all Comey memos

After the NYT report, leaders of the House Oversight Committee and the Intelligence Committee, and of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Judiciary Committee requested the production of all Comey memos, with a deadline of May 24. On May 25, the FBI said it was still reviewing the Committees' requests, in view of the appointment of the special counsel.[157] To date,[when?] the Comey memos have still not been produced or released to the public.


The New York Times reported that Comey had created the memos as a "paper trail" to document "what he perceived as the president's improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation".[152] Comey shared the memo with "a very small circle of people at the FBI and Justice Department."[155] Comey and other senior FBI officials perceived Trump's remarks "as an effort to influence the investigation, but they decided that they would try to keep the conversation secret—even from the F.B.I. agents working on the Russia investigation—so the details of the conversation would not affect the investigation."[152]

In his June 8 testimony, Comey explained that he had documented his conversations with Trump because he "was honestly concerned he (Trump) might lie" about them. "I knew there might come a day when I might need a record of what happened," he said.[41] The Washington Post reported that two Comey associates who had seen the memo described it as two pages long and highly detailed.[155] The Times noted that contemporaneous notes created by FBI agents are frequently relied upon "in court as credible evidence of conversations."[152]

Security considerations

Anonymous officials told The Hill that 4 of the 7 memos contained information deemed "secret" or "classified".[158][159] Some memos were deliberately written without classified information so that they could be shared.[160]

Trump's personal attorney Marc Kasowitz criticized Comey for leaking the contents of his memos to the press, saying that they were "unauthorized disclosures".[161] University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck said that there was "no legal blowback" for Comey, unless "the memos involve 'information relating to the national defense'" or deprived "government of a 'thing of value'".[162]

Pursuit of leakers

According to a Washington Post report, the memos also document Trump's criticism of the FBI for not pursuing leakers in the administration and his wish "to see reporters in jail".[155] The report outraged journalists and free-speech groups, who likened the statement to intimidation tactics used by authoritarian regimes. The Committee to Protect Journalists and Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron were among those who criticized the statement.[163]

Appointment of special counsel

File:Appointment of Special Counsel to Investigate Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election and Related Matters.pdf
Appointment of Special Counsel to Investigate Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election and Related Matters
File:State AGs calling for special prosecutor.svg
Democratic attorneys general from 19 states and D.C. signed a letter calling for a special prosecutor.[164]

Immediately after Comey's dismissal, many Democrats renewed their calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor to continue the investigation into Russia's influence on the election.[103]

The White House continued to insist that no special prosecutor was necessary in the Russia investigation, instead saying that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the next FBI director could lead the investigation.[165] The White House has also said that it was "time to move on" after the 2016 election.[96] President Trump tweeted that Democratic members of Congress calling for a special prosecutor and criticizing the dismissal of Comey are "phony hypocrites!"[166]

On May 11, nineteen Democratic state attorneys general, led by Maura Healey of Massachusetts, signed a letter asking Rosenstein to appoint an "independent special counsel" to investigate Russia's attempts to meddle in the United States presidential election. The Attorney General for the District of Columbia also signed the letter.[164]

Trump released a statement from his law firm, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, saying that Trump has no income or loans in Russia—"with a few exceptions". The firm's statement was criticized because of its strong ties to Russia.[167] The organization was also listed as "Russian Law Firm of the Year" in 2016.[168] On May 12, the United States Office of Government Ethics released a statement that was widely seen as thinly veiled criticism of the President.[169][170][171][172] Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, demanded that Trump turn over any "Comey Tapes" made and called for a special prosecutor.[173]

On May 17, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, as acting Attorney General, appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation.[15][174] Within hours, according to White House sources, the Trump administration was looking to use an obscure ethics rule to slow down the investigation and undermine the special counsel.[175] On May 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts announced they had declared Mueller ethically able to function as special counsel.[176] On June 3, Rosenstein said he would recuse himself from supervision of Mueller, if he were to become a subject in the investigation due to his role in Comey's dismissal.[177]

Reactions from Congress

File:Trump's Firing of Comey Sets Off Political Firestorm.webm
'Trump's Firing of Comey Sets Off Political Firestorm' – video from Voice of America

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is seeking to allow Comey to testify at an open, public hearing, stating that it is "extremely important that Comey come to an open hearing in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as quickly as possible and testify as to the status of the U.S.–Russia investigation at the time of his firing".[76]

Among members of Congress:

  • 138 Democrats, two independents (Senators Bernie Sanders and Angus King), and two Republicans (Representatives Mike Coffman[178] and Tom McClintock), called for a special prosecutor, independent prosecutor, or an independent commission to examine ties between the Russian government and Trump's associates.[103]
  • 84 Democrats and five Republicans called for an independent investigation into Russian ties. For example, Republican Senator John McCain said "I have long called for a special congressional committee" while Democratic Representative Salud Carbajal stated, "anything less would imperil our democracy".[103]
  • 42 Republicans, and 8 Democrats, expressed "questions or concerns" about Comey's firing; examples of members of Congress in this group are Republican Senator Marco Rubio ("I do have questions"); Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski ("serious cause for concern"); Democratic Representative Marcia L. Fudge ("the American people deserve answers").[103]
  • 98 Republicans, but no Democrats, were neutral or supportive of Comey's firing.[103]
  • 141 Republicans and 11 Democrats did not release a statement.[103]

Multiple Democratic members of Congress discussed an "impeachment clock" for Trump, saying that he was "moving" toward impeachment and raising the possibility of bringing forth articles of impeachment for obstruction of justice and criminal malfeasance if proof of illegal activity is found.[179][180] Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut stated in an interview: "It may well produce another United States v. Nixon on a subpoena that went to United States Supreme Court. It may well produce impeachment proceedings, although we're very far from that possibility."[181]

Congressional testimony

On May 10, 2017, the day after being fired by Trump, Comey was invited to testify before a closed session of the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 16, 2017.[182][183][184] Comey declined to testify at a closed session, indicating that he would be willing to testify at a public, open hearing.[185][186] On May 17, the Senate Intelligence Committee invited Comey to testify publicly.[187] Comey accepted the invitation and testified on June 8.[188][189]

On June 7, 2017 an advance copy of Comey's prepared congressional testimony was submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee.[190] In it, he said that on February 14, 2017, the President attempted to persuade him to "let go" of any investigation into Michael Flynn.[10] He clarified that "I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December. I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign."[191] He added that Trump requested his personal loyalty, to which Comey replied he would give his "honest loyalty" to the President.[191] Comey stated that, on three occasions, he volunteered to Trump that the latter was not personally under investigation.[191][192] Comey stated that Trump requested that he publicly declare this so that his image could be improved, but Comey also stated that he did not respond to Trump's request with an explanation of why he would not do so; Comey testified that his primary reason for not publicly saying Trump was not under investigation was to avoid a "duty to correct" in the event Trump later became subject to investigation.[193][194]

In his live testimony, Comey was asked why he thought he was fired and he replied, "I take the president at his word that I was fired because of the Russia investigation."[195] He took strong exception to Trump's claims that he had fired Comey because the FBI was in "disarray" and "poorly led", saying "Those were lies, plain and simple."[196] Comey also confirmed that the FBI investigations had not targeted Trump personally.[197]

In June 9 and June 11 Twitter comments on Comey's testimony, Trump accused Comey of "so many false statements and lies" and "very cowardly" leaks but added that Comey's testimony had amounted to "total and complete vindication" of Trump. Later that day Trump held a brief news conference, during which he insisted that he did not ask Comey to end the investigation into Flynn and was willing to say so under oath. He twice dodged questions about whether there are tapes of White House conversations.[198][199]


After Comey's dismissal, FBI Deputy Director Andrew G. McCabe became the acting FBI Director.[38] It was reported that eight people were being interviewed to succeed Comey: Senator John Cornyn of Texas, former Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Alice S. Fisher, New York Court of Appeals judge Michael Garcia, FBI Richmond Division director Adam S. Lee, Virginia federal district judge Henry E. Hudson, former Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend, former House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chair Mike Rogers, and McCabe himself.[200] Others have been speculated on.[201][202][203] Several potential candidates had withdrawn from consideration.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions interviewed the candidates for FBI Director and gave his recommendation to Donald Trump on May 13.[204][205] On June 7, 2017, on the day before Comey was to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee,[206] President Trump tweeted that he intended to nominate Christopher A. Wray as the new FBI Director.[207] Trump had interviewed Wray for the position on May 30, according to Press Secretary Sean Spicer.[208] Trump made Wray's formal nomination to the Senate on June 26.[209] The Senate Judiciary Committee began confirmation hearings on July 12,[210] and approved the nomination on July 20.[211] The full Senate confirmed the appointment on August 1.[212]

On May 17, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in his role as acting Attorney General (since Attorney General Sessions had recused himself), appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation,[213] taking away that role from the FBI, and in effect from acting FBI Director McCabe and the incoming FBI Director. On June 3, Rosenstein said he would recuse himself from supervision of Mueller if he (Rosenstein) were to become a subject in the investigation due to his role in Comey's dismissal.[177] In that event, the third senior officer in the Justice Department would take over the supervision of Mueller's investigation—namely, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, who assumed the position on May 22, 2017, after being nominated by Trump on February 1[214] and confirmed by the Senate on May 18.[215]



A number of professors of law, political science, and history have criticized the firing and argue that Trump's action destabilizes democratic norms and the rule of law in the U.S.[99][100][101][102][216][217][218][219] Some have argued that Trump's action creates a constitutional crisis.[100] Parallels have been drawn with other leaders who have slowly eroded democratic norms in their countries, such as Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or Hungary's Viktor Orbán; political science professor Sheri Berman said those leaders slowly "chipped away at democratic institutions, undermined civil society, and slowly increased their own power."[102]

In a May 2017 essay published in The Washington Post, Harvard constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe wrote: "The time has come for Congress to launch an impeachment investigation of President Trump for obstruction of justice." Tribe argued that Trump's conduct rose to the level of "high crimes and misdemeanors" that are impeachable offenses under the Constitution.[220] He added, "It will require serious commitment to constitutional principle, and courageous willingness to put devotion to the national interest above self-interest and party loyalty, for a Congress of the president's own party to initiate an impeachment inquiry."[220]

Duke law professor and former federal prosecutor Samuel W. Buell said that Trump's attempt to quiet Comey by referencing secret tapes of their conversations in retaliation could be viewed as an effort to intimidate a witness to any future investigation on obstruction of justice.[186]

GW Law professor Jonathan Turley, who participated in impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton, cautioned that the Comey memo is not a sufficient basis for impeachment, and raises as many questions about Comey's behavior as about Trump's.[221]

Harvard Law professor Jack Goldsmith has argued that claims that Comey "grandstanded" or "politicized" the FBI probe into possible ties between Trump associates and Russia could not be substantiated.[222] Goldsmith wrote, "the only thing Comey ever said publicly about the investigation into the Russia-DNC Hack-Trump Associates imbroglio was to confirm, with the approval of the Attorney General, its existence. To 'grandstand' is to 'play or act so as to impress onlookers.' To 'politicize' means to give something a 'political tone or character.'   Comey was neither grandstanding nor politicizing.  He was doing his job and following the direction of the Attorney General."

New York University law professor Ryan Goodman wrote, "if President Donald Trump orchestrated the decision to fire the Director of the FBI to subvert or undermine the integrity of investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible coordination with Russia, it may amount to an obstruction of justice."[223]

Comey memos and obstruction of justice

Legal experts are divided as to whether Trump's alleged request that Comey end the investigation can be considered obstruction of justice.[224] Jens David Ohlin of Cornell University Law School and Jonathan Turley of George Washington University have argued that the request does not neatly fit into any of the practices commonly considered to fall under the obstruction of justice statute.[225] Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Julie O'Sullivan of the Georgetown University Law Center argued that it is hard to prove that Trump had an intent to obstruct the investigation.[226] Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said that "it's a very, very high bar to get over obstruction of justice for a president."[227] Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith noted that it was implausible to indict a sitting president, noting that "the remedy for a criminal violation would be impeachment" instead.[228] Erwin Chereminsky of University of California, Irvine School of Law, have argued that it was obstruction of justice.[229]

Noah Feldman of Harvard University noted that the alleged request could be grounds for impeachment.[230] University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck said that it was reasonable for people to "start talking about obstruction".[228] Harvard law professor Alex Whiting said that Trump's actions were "very close to obstruction of justice ... but still isn't conclusive".[231] Christopher Slobogin of Vanderbilt University Law School said that a "viable case" could be made but that it was weak.[229] John Dean, former White House Counsel to Richard Nixon, called the memo about the private conversation with President Trump concerning the Flynn investigation a "smoking gun" and noted that "good intentions do not erase criminal intent".[232]

Several Republican politicians and conservative journalists have asserted that Comey could be subject to legal jeopardy over his withholding the memos.[233] Legal experts have criticized these assertions, with Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz saying they are "total nonsense" and University of Texas School of Law professor Robert M. Chesney saying they are "completely uninformed".[233]

Comey testimony and obstruction of justice

In Comey's June 8 testimony, he said it was not for him to say whether Trump's February 14 request amounted to obstruction of justice, adding "But that's a conclusion I'm sure the special counsel will work toward, to try and understand what the intention was there and whether that's an offense."[234] Some legal experts have said that Comey's testimony advanced the argument that Trump attempted to obstruct justice in his dealings with then-FBI Director James Comey.[235] Diane Marie Amann of University of Georgia, Paul Butler of Georgetown University, Brandon Garrett of University of Virginia, Lisa Kern Griffin of Duke University, Alexander Tsesis of Loyola University, and Alex Whiting of Harvard University said that a obstruction of justice case was advanced by the fact that Comey understood Trump's words as an order to drop an ongoing FBI investigation.[235][236][237] Joshua Dressle of Ohio State University and Jimmy Gurulé of University of Notre Dame said after the testimony that "a prima facie case of obstruction of justice" had been established.[235] Samuel Gross of University of Michigan and Dressle said that there were sufficient grounds to indict Trump for obstruction of justice were he not President, but that a sitting President cannot be indicted, only impeached.[235] Samuel Buell of Duke University said, "Based on Comey's testimony, we know to a virtual certainty that the President is now under investigation for obstruction of justice."[237] Mark Tushnet of Harvard University said that there are "lots of pieces of evidence that could go into making a criminal case and very little to weaken such a case but nothing that in itself shows criminal intent."[235]

Former United States Attorney Preet Bharara said in a June 11, 2017 interview with ABC News, "there's absolutely evidence to begin a case" regarding obstruction of justice by Trump.[238] Bharara went on to note, "No one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction. [But] there's no basis to say there's no obstruction."[238]


Many media outlets continued to be highly critical of the move. For many critics, the immediate worry was the integrity of the FBI's investigation into the Trump administration's ties to Russia.[239] Some commentators described Comey's firing by the Trump administration as a "Nixonian" act, comparing it to Richard Nixon's orders to three of his cabinet officials to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate investigation. A number of commentators – including Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, former CBS News journalist Dan Rather, and former New Yorker editor Jeffrey Frank – accused the Trump administration of a cover-up by firing Comey with the intent to curtail the FBI's investigation out of fear of a possible discovery of the extent of Trump's alleged ties to Russia.[240][241][242] Soon after Trump's election, Benjamin Wittes writing in Lawfare had predicted a future firing of Comey, writing "If Trump chooses to replace Comey with a sycophantic yes-man, or if he permits Comey to resign over law or principle, that will be a clear bellwether to both the national security and civil libertarian communities that things are going terribly wrong."[243] Immediately after the dismissal, they reiterated their position, stating that Trump's firing of Comey "undermines the credibility of his own presidency" and implying that the reason given for it was probably a pretext, as Trump had previously praised Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation.[35]

Some commentators observed an emerging pattern of Trump firing government officials involved in investigating his interests: Sally Yates, Preet Bharara, and Comey.[244][245]

Other media outlets were more supportive. Some sources have stated that, regardless of circumstances, Comey had lost the confidence of the political leadership on all sides of the spectrum and, therefore, his termination was unavoidable in spite of criticizing the president's handling of it and questioning his motives.[246] Some went so far as to decry Democrats and other Trump opponents who criticized the termination after previously having criticized Comey himself for the handling of the Clinton scandal.[247] A few called for a re-opening of the Clinton investigation now that Comey had left.[248]

French daily Le Monde described the firing as a "coup de force" against the FBI.[102] German magazines Der Spiegel and Bild drew parallels with Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre, with Der Spiegel saying that "few believe" that Comey was not fired for overseeing a criminal probe into possible ties between Trump associates and Russia.[102][249] The Economist wrote in an editorial that Comey's firing "reflects terribly" on Trump and urged "principled Senate Republicans" to put country before party and establish "either an independent commission" similar to the 9/11 Commission, or a bipartisan select committee to investigate the Russia allegations, with either body to have "substantial investigatory resources" and subpoena power.[250]

See also


  1. Kawa, Luke (May 9, 2017). "Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day". Bloomberg News. 
  2. Collinson, Stephen (December 21, 2016). "Comey under fire again over Clinton emailsloy". CNN. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Helsel, Phil (May 9, 2017). "Trump Hires Law Firm to Fight Suggestions of Russia Business Ties". NBC News. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Haberman, Maggie; Thrush, Glenn (May 10, 2017). "'Enough Was Enough': How Festering Anger at Comey Ended in His Firing". The New York Times. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Liptak, Kevin (May 10, 2017). "Behind the scenes of James Comey's epic firing". CNN. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Barrett, Devlin; Rucker, Philip. "Trump said he was thinking of Russia controversy when he decided to fire Comey". The Washington Post. President Trump on Thursday said he was thinking of 'this Russia thing with Trump' when he decided to fire FBI Director James B. Comey, who had been leading the counterintelligence investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election... Trump's account flatly contradicts the White House's initial account of how the president arrived at his decision, undercutting public denials by his aides that the move was influenced in any way by his growing fury with the ongoing Russia probe. 
  7. realDonaldTrump (June 16, 2017). "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt" (Tweet). Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  8. Haberman, Maggie. "Trump suggests tweet on tapes was meant to affect Comey testimony", New York Times via Las Vegas Sun (June 24, 2017): "Trump appeared to be referring to his statements over the months, which Comey confirmed in his testimony, that the then-FBI director had told the president that he was not under investigation. Trump, according to his advisers, had become enormously frustrated that Comey would not say so publicly."
  9. 9.0 9.1 Williams, Katie Bo (June 8, 2017). "Comey leaked memos to prompt special counsel". The Hill. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Smith, David; Borger, Julian (June 7, 2017). "James Comey reveals concerns about Trump in devastating account to Congress". The Guardian. Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  11. Jan Wolfe (June 8, 2017). "Factbox: Did Comey's testimony support an obstruction of justice charge?". Reuters. Comey added fuel on Thursday to critics' accusations that the U.S. president engaged in obstruction of justice. ... Several legal experts said the conversation could be construed as an act of obstruction. ... Some legal experts said the president could say he was merely vouching for Flynn's character and voicing concerns about how the Russia probe was interfering with his ability to function in office. 
  12. Ryan Goodman (May 17, 2017). "Did Trump Obstruct Justice?". Politico Magazine. 
  13. "Scholars debate Trump, Comey and obstructing justice". National Constitution Center. June 6, 2017. 
  14. Matt Ford (May 16, 2017). "Did President Trump Obstruct Justice?". The Atlantic. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Levine, Mike; Kelsey, Adam (May 17, 2017). "Robert Mueller appointed special counsel to oversee probe into Russia's interference in 2016 election". ABC News. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  16. "28 U.S. Code § 532 - Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation". LII / Legal Information Institute. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Kutner, Max (May 4, 2017). "Can President Donald Trump Fire FBI Director James Comey". Newsweek. 
  18. Chesney, Robert (May 10, 2017). "Backgrounder: The Power to Appoint & Remove the FBI Director". Lawfare Blog. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Shear, Michael D.; Apuzzo, Matt (May 9, 2017). "F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump". The New York Times. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 Taylor, Jessica (May 9, 2017). "President Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey". NPR. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Apuzzo, Matt; Schmidt, Michael S.; Goldman, Adam; Lichtblau, Eric (April 22, 2017). "Comey Tried to Shield the F.B.I. From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election". The New York Times. 
  22. Cillizza, Chris (May 3, 2017). "James Comey doesn't care what you think of him". CNN. 
  23. McCandless, Brit (May 14, 2017). "Comey in 2014: FBI needs "independence" from politics". CBS News. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Tate, Julie; Vitkovskay, Julie (May 9, 2017). "Comey timeline: Everything that led up to his firing". The Washington Post. 
  25. "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security". Department of Homeland Security. October 7, 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2017. 
  26. McKirdy, Euan (January 4, 2017). "Julian Assange: Russia didn't give us e-mails". CNN. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 Perez, Evan; Prokupecz, Shimon; Brown, Pamela (May 9, 2017). "Grand jury subpoenas issued in FBI's Russia investigation". CNN. 
  28. Weber, Peter (May 10, 2017). "Before firing Comey, Trump was reportedly so angry about the Russia case he'd 'scream at television clips'". MSN. 
  29. Bertrand, Natasha (May 11, 2017). "An FBI director has been fired only once before — and it was under dramatically different circumstances". Business Insider. 
  30. Sterling, Joe (May 10, 2017). "Bill Clinton fired an FBI director 2 decades before Trump". CNN. 
  31. "Time's Up for William Sessions". Editorial. The New York Times. January 22, 1993. 
  32. 32.0 32.1 Rosenberg, Matthew; Apuzzo, Matt (May 10, 2017). "Days Before Firing, Comey Asked for More Resources for Russia Inquiry". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  33. "Rod Rosenstein's letter recommending Comey be fired". BBC News. May 10, 2017. 
  34. 34.0 34.1 "A statement from Press Secretary Sean Spicer and letters from President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein" (PDF). The White House. May 9, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  35. 35.0 35.1 Wittes, Benjamin; Hennessey, Susan (May 9, 2017). "The Nightmare Scenario: Trump Fires Comey, the One Man Who Would Stand Up to Him". Lawfare Blog. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  36. Dawsey, Josh. "'He got tired of him'". Politico. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  37. "Comey "lost the confidence" of FBI employees, says Sarah Huckabee Sanders". Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 38.4 Goldman, Adam; Savage, Charlie (May 10, 2017). "Inside the F.B.I., Stunned Agents Wonder About Future of Russia Inquiry". The New York Times. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 Kopan, Tal; Brown, Pamela; Perez, Evan; Prokupecz, Shimon (May 10, 2017). "Comey firing sends shockwaves through FBI rank-and-file". CNN. 
  40. Levine, Mike (May 11, 2017). "New acting FBI chief pushes back on WH assertion that rank and file lost confidence in Comey". ABC News. 
  41. 41.0 41.1 Taylor, Jessica (June 8, 2017). "Comey Accuses White House Of 'Lies, Plain And Simple'". NPR. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  42. "'Lies, Plain and Simple': Comey Calls Out Trump Admin for Saying FBI Was in 'Disarray'". Fox News Insider. June 8, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  43. Malloy, Allie (May 10, 2017). "Trump says he fired Comey because he wasn't 'doing a good job'". CNN. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  44. Bennett, Brian (May 11, 2017). "Trump to NBC's Lester Holt: Comey's 'a showboat,' 'I was going to fire regardless of recommendation'". Los Angeles Times. 
  45. "President Trump just completely contradicted the official White House account of the Comey firing". The Week. May 11, 2017. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  46. Leigh Ann Caldwell (May 18, 2017). "Rosenstein Tells Senate He Knew of Comey Firing Before He Wrote Memo". NBC News. 
  47. Wright, Austin. "Sessions and Rosenstein discussed firing Comey last winter", Politico (May 19, 2017).
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 Apuzzo, Matt; Haberman, Maggie; Rosenberg, Matthew (May 19, 2017). "Trump Told Russians That Firing 'Nut Job' Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation". The New York Times. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  49. "Trump has now admitted he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation". Vox. May 11, 2017. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  50. Liptak, Kevin. "Trump contradicts spokeswoman on effect of Comey firing". CNN. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  51. Kevin Liptak. "White House: Removing Comey will help bring Russia investigation to end". CNN. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  52. "White House Struggles to Straighten Its Story on Comey". The New York Times. Associated Press. May 11, 2017. 
  53. Liptak, Kevin (May 11, 2017). "Trump contradicts spokeswoman on effect of Comey firing, says it may 'lengthen out the investigation'". CNN. Earlier Thursday, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Comey firing may hasten the agency's investigation into Russian meddling. 'We want this to come to its conclusion, we want it to come to its conclusion with integrity,' she said, referring to the FBI's probe into Moscow's interference in last year's election. 'And we think that we've actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to make that happen.' 
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 "Behind Comey's firing: An enraged Trump, fuming about Russia". Politico. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  55. 55.0 55.1 Jake Tapper. "Source close to Comey says there were 2 reasons the FBI director was fired". CNN. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  56. Schmidt, Michael S. (May 11, 2017). "In a Private Dinner, Trump Demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred.". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2017. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him. Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not 'reliable' in the conventional political sense ... Later in the dinner, Mr. Trump again said to Mr. Comey that he needed his loyalty. Mr. Comey again replied that he would give him 'honesty' and did not pledge his loyalty, according to the account of the conversation. But Mr. Trump pressed him on whether it would be 'honest loyalty.' 'You will have that,' Mr. Comey told his associates he responded. 
  57. "Trump asked James Comey to pledge his loyalty to him". CBS News. May 11, 2017. Soon after he was inaugurated, President Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to pledge his loyalty to him, a request that Comey turned down, CBS News' Pat Milton confirmed Thursday, citing a law enforcement source who was told the story by Comey. In January, Mr. Trump invited Comey to have dinner with him at the White House, and in the course of their conversation, the president asked Comey if he would pledge his loyalty to him. The FBI director declined, but he replied to the president that he would always be honest. Again during their dinner, Mr. Trump told Comey he needed his loyalty. And again, Comey responded that he would be honest, according to the source. Mr. Trump pressed Comey on whether it would be "honest loyalty." Comey said that he responded, "Yes, you will have that." He meant, said the source, that he would always be honest with the president. 
  58. Pearson, Jake (May 12, 2017). "The Latest: Sessions to interview FBI candidates Saturday". Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 17, 2017. An associate of the fired FBI director confirmed Friday that Trump asked for Comey's loyalty during the private dinner. The associate with knowledge of the conversation confirmed an account of the conversation in The New York Times is accurate. During the dinner, Comey refused to pledge his loyalty and instead offered the president his honesty. 
  59. Mark Hensch (May 12, 2017). "Trump: 'I don't think it's inappropriate' asking for FBI chief's loyalty". The Hill. 
  60. Hamedy, Saba (June 8, 2017). "Paul Ryan: Trump asking for Comey's loyalty 'obviously' inappropriate". CNN. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  61. Carter, Brandon (May 10, 2017). "Comey fired for intensifying investigation of Trump, Russia ties: report". The Hill. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  62. Schmidt, Michael S. (May 11, 2017). "In a Private Dinner, Trump Demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred.". The New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  63. Rosie Gray; McKay Coppins. "'There Is a Real Risk Here Things Will Spin Out of Control'". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  64. "Is this the real reason Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey?". The Independent. May 11, 2017. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  65. Entous, Adam; Nakashima, Ellen (May 22, 2017). "Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence". The Washington Post. 
  66. Winton, Richard; Queally, James (May 9, 2017). "Comey was 'caught flat-footed' and learned of firing from TV while talking to FBI agents in L.A., source says". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  67. "Democrats cry foul over Comey firing after previously calling for him to resign" 13, 2017/https://web.archive.org/web/20170513030942/http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/democrats-cry-foul-comey-firing-previously-calling-resign/story?id=47352885 Archived May 13, 2017 at the Wayback Machine, ABC News (May 11, 2017): "Democrats in Congress are questioning the timing of Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey... but less than a year ago, some of the same Democratic politicians who are now attacking Trump for firing Comey called for the director's resignation or questioned his credibility."
  68. "Democrats Question Timing Of James Comey's Dismissal From FBI" 14, 2017/https://web.archive.org/web/20170514154553/http://www.npr.org/2017/05/09/527684959/democrats-question-timing-of-james-comeys-dismissal-from-fbi Archived May 14, 2017 at the Wayback Machine, NPR (May 9, 2017).
  69. Sen. Amy Klobuchar: 'Stunned' by timing of Comey ouster" 15, 2017/https://web.archive.org/web/20170515060113/http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sen-amy-klobuchar-stunned-by-timing-of-comey-ouster/ Archived May 15, 2017 at the Wayback Machine, CNN (May 12, 2017).
  70. 70.0 70.1 "Timing of Comey's firing 'frightening,' says Hillary Clinton's former campaign manager" 10, 2017/https://web.archive.org/web/20170510162728/http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/10/timing-of-comeys-firing-frightening-says-clinton-campaign-manager.html Archived May 10, 2017 at the Wayback Machine, CNBC (May 10, 2017).
  71. "Sen. Amy Klobuchar: 'Stunned' by timing of Comey ouster". CNN. May 12, 2017. 
  72. "Sen. Angus King Questions Timing Of James Comey's Firing From FBI" 14, 2017/https://web.archive.org/web/20170514155108/http://www.npr.org/2017/05/09/527669933/sen-angus-king-questions-timing-of-james-comeys-firing-from-fbi Archived May 14, 2017 at the Wayback Machine, NPR (May 9, 2017).
  73. 73.0 73.1 "Kellyanne Conway, refuting Chuck Schumer, says Comey's firing is 'not a cover-up'". The Week. May 9, 2017. 
  74. "Comey Ouster Threatens to Backfire on Troubled White House". Bloomberg News. May 10, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  75. "Grand jury subpoenas for Michael Flynn associates revealed hours before James Comey sacked". The Daily Telegraph. May 10, 2017. 
  76. 76.0 76.1 Shabad, Rebecca (May 10, 2017). "James Comey has been asked to appear before Senate Intelligence Committee next Tuesday". CBS News. 
  77. Gambino, Lauren (May 12, 2017). "Lawyers who said Trump has no ties to Russia named Russian law firm of 2016". The Guardian. 
  78. Pete Madden (May 13, 2017). "Donald Trump's tax law firm has 'deep' ties to Russia". KGO-TV. 
  79. "Trump Lawyers Say He Had No Russian Income or Debt, With Some Exceptions". The New York Times. May 12, 2017. 
  80. "Inside Trump's anger and impatience — and his sudden decision to fire Comey". The Washington Post. 
  81. Gregory Krieg. "Trump once cheered Comey for the same reason he just fired him". CNN. 
  82. Wilstein, Matt (May 9, 2017). "CNN's Jeffrey Toobin Goes Off on Trump for Firing Comey: 'What Kind of Country Is This?'". The Daily Beast. 
  83. Baker, Peter (May 9, 2017). "In Trump's Firing of James Comey, Echoes of Watergate". The New York Times. 
  84. Fisher, Marc; DeYoung, Karen (May 9, 2017). "Tuesday night firing of Comey: 'Nixonian' or uniquely Trumpian?". The Washington Post. 
  85. "Sens. Mark Warner and Mike Lee on replacing James Comey at the FBI". Fox News Sunday. May 14, 2017. BOB WOODWARD, THE WASHINGTON POST: ... But this is not yet Watergate. Not a clear crime on the Russian issue.... [I]n the case of Nixon, he had his former White House counsel, John Dean, for four days testifying that the president corruptly and illegally led the obstruction of justice and you have nothing comparable. Now, that doesn't mean, you know, we don't know where this is going to go. There is an immense amount of smoke. 
  86. Jackie Wattles, Carl Bernstein: Comey firing is a 'dangerous' moment 17, 2017/https://web.archive.org/web/20170517065219/http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/14/media/carl-bernstein-trump-dangerous-moment/ Archived May 17, 2017 at the Wayback Machine, CNN, Reliable Sources (May 14, 2017).
  87. Editorial (May 9, 2017). "Donald Trump's Firing of James Comey". The New York Times. 
  88. 88.0 88.1 "Trump fires FBI Director Comey". Fox News. May 9, 2017. 
  89. 89.0 89.1 "Chuck Schumer calls for special prosecutor (Live update)". The Guardian. May 9, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  90. "Trump fires Comey: Reaction to FBI Director's termination". Fox News. May 10, 2017. 
  91. Chris Matthews (May 9, 2017). "Rep. Schiff: Sessions was supposed to recuse himself". MSNBC. 
  92. "Trump firing of FBI Director Comey evokes criticism, praise". Reuters. May 9, 2017. 
  93. Sanger, David E.; Rosenberg, Matthew; Schmidt, Michael S. (May 9, 2017). "Firing Fuels Calls for Independent Investigator, Even From Republicans". The New York Times. 
  94. LoBianco, Tom (May 9, 2017). "Comey firing troubles top Republicans lawmakers". CNN. 
  95. Beavers, Olivia (May 9, 2017). "Franken rips Sessions for encouraging Comey firing". The Hill. 
  96. 96.0 96.1 Mali, Meghashyam (May 9, 2017). "White House spokesperson: 'Time to move on' from Russia probes". The Hill. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  97. "White House blasts Russia investigations after Comey firing: 'It's time to move on'". AOL. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  98. Sommer, Will (May 10, 2017). "Trump lashes out on Twitter after firing Comey". The Hill. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  99. 99.0 99.1 Bui, Quoctrung; Miller, Claire Cain; Quealy, Kevin (May 10, 2017). "How Abnormal Was Comey's Firing? Experts Weigh In". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  100. 100.0 100.1 100.2 "I asked 7 experts if the Comey firing is a constitutional crisis. Here's what they said.". Vox. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  101. 101.0 101.1 Andrew Rudalevige (May 10, 2017). "Analysis: Firing Comey was legal. That doesn't mean it was a good idea.". The Washington Post. 
  102. 102.0 102.1 102.2 102.3 102.4 Amanda Erickson (May 10, 2017). "Analysis: How the world reacted to Trump's firing of Comey". The Washington Post. 
  103. 103.0 103.1 103.2 103.3 103.4 103.5 103.6 103.7 Carlsen, Audrey; Davis, Kenan; Lee, Jasmine C.; Lai, K. K. Rebecca; Fessenden, Ford; Pearce, Adam (May 10, 2017). "How Every Lawmaker Has Reacted to Comey's Firing So Far". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  104. 104.0 104.1 "Republicans Rush to Support Trump". The Atlantic. May 10, 2017. .
  105. Bender, Michael C. (May 11, 2017). "Donald Trump Says He Decided to Fire James Comey Before Rod Rosenstein Letter". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  106. Vitali, Ali; Siemaszko, Corky (May 11, 2017). "Trump Interview With Lester Holt: President Asked Comey If He Was Under Investigation". NBC News. 
  107. Rogin, Ali (May 12, 2017). "Sen. Durbin says President Trump 'may be obstructing justice'". ABC News. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  108. Hamedy, Saba (May 12, 2017). "Democratic Rep.: 'Very strong case' for obstruction of justice against Trump". CNN. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  109. Max Greenwood (May 11, 2017). "Dem rep: Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice over Comey firing". The Hill. 
  110. Kristof, Nicholas (May 13, 2017). "Is President Trump Obstructing Justice?". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  111. 111.0 111.1 Liptak, Kevin; Zeleny, Jeff; Murray, Sara; Landers, Elizabeth (May 13, 2017). "Isolated and agitated, Trump rattles White House from within". CNN. 
  112. Byers, Dylan (May 10, 2017). "Day after Comey firing, Sean Spicer to miss White House briefing". CNN. 
  113. 113.0 113.1 Byers, Dylan (May 12, 2017). "Trump again suggests ending daily White House briefing, won't commit to Spicer". CNN. 
  114. Shugerman, Emily (May 12, 2017). "Donald Trump appears to threaten James Comey over 'tapes of our conversations'". The Independent. 
  115. Smilowitz, Elliot (May 12, 2017). "Trump warns Comey: Better hope there are no tapes of our meeting". The Hill. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  116. Feldscher, Kyle. "Trump warns James Comey not to leak recordings of their conversations". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  117. "Trump Threatens Comey Over Leaks". The Daily Beast. January 30, 2017. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  118. "Trump Suggests Canceling Press Briefings in New 'Fake Media' Twitter Rant". TheWrap. May 12, 2017. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  119. Watson, Kathryn (May 12, 2017). "Sean Spicer doesn't comment on whether Trump recorded Comey conversations". CBS News. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  120. Wang, Christine (May 12, 2017). "Trump's tweet about ousted FBI director was 'not a threat,' Spicer says". CNBC. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  121. Diamond, Jeremy. "No one knows if Trump is making White House recordings". CNN. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  122. "Trump Really Does Have Tapes of His Phone Calls With James Comey (Report)". TheWrap. May 13, 2017. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  123. Graham, David A. "If There Are White House Recordings, They Could Be Subpoenaed". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  124. "ACLU Files FOIA Request For Docs On Comey Firing". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  125. 125.0 125.1 Wilkie, Christina (June 9, 2017). "Trump’s Lawyer Threatens To File Complaints Against Comey". Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 June 2017. 
  126. Johns, Joe; Merica, Dan (June 9, 2017). "Trump's lawyer to file complaint against Comey over memo". CNN. Retrieved 30 June 2017. 
  127. Talev, Margaret; Pettypiece, Shannon (June 28, 2017). "Trump Backs Off Plan to Attack Comey’s Conduct". Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 June 2017. 
  128. Pramuk, Jacob (May 19, 2017). "Trump to Russians in Oval Office: Firing 'nut job' Comey eased pressure, NYT reports". CNBC. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  129. Kamisar, Ben (May 19, 2017). "Trump told Russians firing 'nut job' Comey eased pressure on him: report". The Hill (newspaper). Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  130. Smith, Allan (May 19, 2017). "Trump to Russian diplomats: Firing 'nut job' James Comey took 'great pressure' off me". Business Insider. 
  131. "FBI Director James Comey fired by President Trump". Fox59. Associated Press. May 9, 2017. 
  132. Schmidt, Michael S. (May 18, 2017). "Comey Is Said to Have Become Unsettled by Interactions With Trump". The New York Times. 
  133. Carroll, Lauren (May 10, 2017). "Did James Comey tell Donald Trump three times that he isn't under FBI investigation?". PolitiFact.com. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  134. Rucker, Philip; Parker, Ashley; Horwitz, Sari; Costa, Robert. "Inside Trump's anger and impatience — and his sudden decision to fire Comey". The Washington Post. In his Tuesday letter dismissing Comey, Trump wrote: "I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation." People familiar with the matter said that statement is not accurate, although they would not say how it was inaccurate. 
  135. Greenwood, Max (May 11, 2017). "Report: Trump's claim that Comey said he's not under investigation 'farcical'". The Hill. 
  136. 136.0 136.1 Smith, Allan (June 7, 2017). "Comey told Trump 3 times that he wasn't under investigation, but his refusal to publicly say so infuriated Trump". Business Insider. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  137. 137.0 137.1 "10 things we learned from the James Comey hearing". CNN. June 8, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  138. Fabian, Jordan (June 7, 2017). "Trump feels "totally vindicated" by Comey testimony, lawyer says". The Hill. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  139. Laura Jarrett; Evan Perez (June 10, 2017). "Mueller staffing up Russia probe while Trump lawyer declares victory". CNN. 
  140. Memoli, Michael A. (June 16, 2017). "In tweet, Trump seems to confirm he is under investigation for obstruction of justice". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  141. "Donald Trump 'not under investigation' but cannot be certain, President's lawyer says". ABC News (Australia). June 18, 2017. 
  142. 142.0 142.1 142.2 142.3 142.4 Lemire, Jonathan; Pearson, Jake; Pace, Julie (May 12, 2017). "Democrats demand recordings after Trump tweets warning to Comey, hinting at 'tapes'". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. 
  143. Becket, Stefan (June 8, 2017). "Comey calls for release of memos, any recordings of White House conversations". CBS News. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  144. ABC News, June 9, 2017, President Trump deflects questions about possible tapes of James Comey meeting 12, 2017/https://web.archive.org/web/20170612061041/http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-donald-trump-deflects-questions-tapes-james-comey/story?id=47935492 Archived June 12, 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  145. Dino Grandoni (June 11, 2017). "Senator says Trump should turn over Comey tapes". The Washington Post. 
  146. 146.0 146.1 New York Times, June 22, 2017, Trump Says He Did Not Tape Comey Conversations 22, 2017/https://web.archive.org/web/20170622203241/https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/us/politics/trump-comey-tapes.html Archived June 22, 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  147. 147.0 147.1 "Trump denies having Comey tapes — but won't deny recordings exist". 
  148. http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Donald Trump says he has no tapes of James Comey’s conversations". 
  149. Zeleny, Jeff; Merica, Dan; LoBianco, Tom (June 23, 2017). "White House responds to Comey tape inquiry with Trump tweet". CNN. Retrieved June 23, 2017. 
  150. "US House panel presses White House for response to Comey tape request". 
  151. 151.0 151.1 151.2 151.3 Wilber, Del Quentin; Viswanatha, Aruna (May 16, 2017). "Trump Asked Comey to Drop Flynn Investigation, According to Memo Written by Former FBI Director". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  152. 152.0 152.1 152.2 152.3 152.4 152.5 152.6 152.7 Schmidt, Michael S. (May 16, 2017). "Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation". The New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  153. Brown, Pamela (May 16, 2017). "Comey documented 'everything he could remember' after Trump conversations". CNN. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  154. Graham, David A. (May 16, 2017). "Did Trump Try to Shut Down the FBI's Michael Flynn Investigation?". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  155. 155.0 155.1 155.2 155.3 Barrett, Devlin; Nakashima, Ellen; Zapotosky, Matt (May 16, 2017). "Notes made by former FBI director Comey say Trump pressured him to end Flynn probe". The Washington Post. 
  156. Solomon, Daniel J. (May 19, 2017). "Comey's Friend Benjamin Wittes Was Key Media Source". The Forward. Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  157. The Salt Lake Tribune, May 25, 2017, Chaffetz doubles down on request for Comey documents after FBI balks
  158. Solomon, John (July 9, 2017). "Comey's private memos on Trump conversations contained classified material". The Hill. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  159. Bump, Philip (July 10, 2017). "Trump accuses James Comey of breaking the law — based on a misleading Fox News report". Washington Post. Retrieved July 11, 2017. 
  160. "Comey hearing: 'I was fired because of the Russia investigation'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  161. "Trump's lawyer attacks Comey for leaking private memos, suggests he lied under oath". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-06-09. 
  162. CNN, Zachary Cohen. "The tweet that got Comey to go to the press". CNN. Retrieved 2017-06-09. 
  163. Michael M. Grynbaum, (May 17, 2017) "Trump's Urging That Comey Jail Reporters Denounced as an 'Act of Intimidation'", The New York Times.
  164. 164.0 164.1 Associated Press (May 11, 2017). "20 attorneys general call for independent probe into Russia". USA Today. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  165. "White House says no special prosecutor needed in Russia probe". CNN. May 10, 2017. 
  166. Vladimirov, Nikita (May 10, 2017). "Trump: Dems are 'phony hypocrites' for anger over Comey firing". The Hill. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  167. Madden, Pete; Mosk, Matthew (May 12, 2017). "Donald Trump's tax law firm has 'deep' ties to Russia". ABC News. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  168. Gambino, Lauren (May 12, 2017). "Lawyers who said Trump has no ties to Russia named Russian law firm of 2016". The Guardian. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  169. Bowden, John (May 12, 2017). "Government ethics office appears to troll Trump on Twitter". The Hill. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  170. "Ethics office tweets about 'loyalty' after reports of Comey and Trump's private dinner". Fox News. May 12, 2017. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  171. Careaga, Christina. "The Office of Government Ethics is now trolling Trump on Twitter". Mashable. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  172. OfficeGovEthics (May 12, 2017). "Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws and ethical principles above private gain. -5 C.F.R. § 2635.101(b)(1)" (Tweet). 
  173. Wright, Austin (May 12, 2017). "Schiff demands Trump turn over Comey 'tapes'". Politico. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  174. Ruiz, Rebecca (May 17, 2017). "Robert Mueller, Former F.B.I. Director, Is Named Special Counsel for Russia Investigation". The New York Times. 
  175. "White House looking at ethics rule to weaken special investigation: sources". Reuters. 2017-05-19. Retrieved 2017-05-20. 
  176. Savage, Charlie (May 23, 2017). "Ethics experts clear special counsel in Russia investigation". The New York Times. 
  177. 177.0 177.1 Sadie Gurman; Eric Tucker; Jeff Horwitz (June 3, 2017). "Special Counsel Mueller's investigation seems to be growing". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. 
  178. Miller, Blair (May 12, 2017). "Rep. Mike Coffman says 'cloud' hanging over Trump administration, causing polarized Congress". Denver: KMGH-TV. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  179. Roarty, Alex (May 10, 2017). "Democrats talk of an 'impeachment clock' for Trump". The McClatchy Company. 
  180. Easley, Jonathan (May 10, 2017). "Dem reps: Trump is 'moving' toward impeachment". The Hill. 
  181. Hamedy, Saba (May 11, 2017). "Blumenthal: Comey firing 'may well produce impeachment proceedings'". CNN. 
  182. Rogin, Ali (May 10, 2017). "Comey invited to testify before Senate Intelligence Committee". ABC News. 
  183. Uchill, Joe (May 10, 2017). "Senate Intel committee invites Comey to testify next week". The Hill. 
  184. Wright, Austin (May 10, 2017). "Comey invited to testify before Senate panel". ABC News. 
  185. "James Comey agrees to testify in public Senate hearing as search for his replacement intensifies". The Independent. May 13, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017. 
  186. 186.0 186.1 Baker, Peter; Shear, Michael D. (May 12, 2017). "Trump Warning to Comey Prompts Questions on 'Tapes'". The New York Times. Retrieved May 13, 2017. According to a close associate of Mr. Comey, he is willing to testify, but wants it to be in public. 
  187. Carney, Jordain (May 17, 2017). "Senate Intel panel asks Comey to testify publicly". The Hill. 
  188. Zapotosky, Matt (June 1, 2017). "Comey is asked to testify next Thursday". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 4, 2017. 
  189. "Hearings | Intelligence Committee". U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. 
  190. Bertrand, Natasha (June 7, 2017). "Here's what James Comey will tell Congress in his first testimony since being fired". Business Insider. Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  191. 191.0 191.1 191.2 Comey, James (June 8, 2017). "Statement for the Record Senate Select Committee on Intelligence" (pdf). United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. p. 7. Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  192. Carroll, Lauren; Kruzel, John (2017-06-07). "The 3 things Comey's advance testimony corroborates from press reports, Trump". PolitiFact. Retrieved 2017-07-19. Comey’s prepared remarks bolster Trump’s claim. He says he assured Trump three different times, the first instance coming in a January 6 meeting a Trump Tower. 
  193. Comey, James B. (June 7, 2017). "Read: James Comey's prepared testimony". [[CNN|]]. Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  194. Bump, Philip. "Here’s why James Comey wouldn’t tell the world that Trump wasn’t under investigation", Washington Post (June 7, 2017).
  195. Sampathkumar, Mythili (June 8, 2017). "Comey testimony: The five biggest things we learnt from his damning Senate hearing on Trump". The Independent. Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  196. Dilanian, Ken; Siemaszko, Corky (June 8, 2017). "Comey: White House Lied 'Plain and Simple' About Firing". NBC News. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  197. Thrush, Glenn; Haberman, Maggie (June 8, 2017). "'I Was Right': As Trump Watches Comey on TV, Anxiety Yields to Relief". The New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  198. Merica, Dan; Liptak, Kevin (June 9, 2017). "Trump: I'm willing to testify under oath about Comey claims". CNN. Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  199. Revesz, Rachael (June 12, 2017). "Donald Trump says 'cowardly' James Comey has leaked more 'than anyone ever thought possible'". The Independent. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  200. Borchers, Callum; Zapotosky, Matt (May 13, 2017). "A packed day of interviews could lead to 'a fast decision' on the next FBI director, Trump says". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 14, 2017. 
  201. "Cornyn as FBI director would cause big Senate shakeup". Politico. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  202. "Here are some of the candidates to replace James Comey at the FBI". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  203. "Garcia in the Running for FBI Director". New York Law Journal. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  204. Viswanatha, Aruna (May 13, 2017). "Attorney General Sessions to Interview Candidates for FBI Director". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  205. Dumain, Emma. "S.C.'s Trey Gowdy among possible FBI director candidates, while Scott, Graham steer clear of criticism post-Comey firing". The Post and Courier. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  206. "What to Know About Nomination of Christopher A. Wray as FBI Director". Change.org. 2017-06-07. 
  207. "Trump to nominate Christopher Wray as FBI director". CNN. 2017-06-07. 
  208. Cleary, Tom (May 30, 2017). "Christopher Wray: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. 
  209. The Hill, June 26, 2017, Trump sends FBI director nomination to the Senate
  210. News, A. B. C. (July 12, 2017). "Trump FBI pick testifies no one asked him for 'loyalty oath'". ABC News. 
  211. "Wray’s FBI nomination approved by Senate committee". 
  212. "Senate confirms Wray as next FBI director". Washington Post. 
  213. Tucker, Eric; Pace, Julie; Benac, Nancy. "Former FBI Director Robert Mueller named special counsel for Trump-Russia probe". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. 
  214. Goetz, Ethan (February 8, 2017). "Locals, friends comment on Rachel Brand nomination for assistant attorney general". The Pella Chronicle. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  215. Cohen, Kelly (May 18, 2017). "Senate confirms Rachel Brand as associate attorney general". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  216. Beauchamp, Zack (May 11, 2017). "Experts on authoritarianism are absolutely terrified by the Comey firing". Vox. 
  217. "Is This a Constitutional Crisis? Legal experts size up the Comey firing". Politico Magazine. May 9, 2017. 
  218. "Can American democracy survive Donald Trump?". USA Today. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  219. "Partisan Political Figures Cannot Run the FBI". Lawfare blog. May 15, 2017. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  220. 220.0 220.1 Tribe, Laurence H. (May 13, 2017). "Trump must be impeached. Here's why.". The Washington Post. 
  221. Turley, Jonathan (May 17, 2017). "OPINION: The Comey memo offers zero evidence to impeach Trump". The Hill. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  222. "Did Comey "Grandstand" or "Politicize" the Russia Investigation?". Lawfare blog. May 20, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 
  223. "Reports Suggest Comey's Firing Could Be an Obstruction of Justice in Russia Investigation". Just Security. May 10, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2017. 
  224. "Obstruction of justice, immunity, impeachment: A primer". PolitiFact.com. Retrieved May 21, 2017. 
  225. "Did Trump Break the Law? Legal Answers on the Implications of the Comey Memo on Flynn". Haaretz. Associated Press. May 17, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 
  226. "Obstruction of justice, explained". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved May 21, 2017. 
  227. "Trump Impeachment Talk Grows From Conspiracy Theory To Mainstream". NPR. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 
  228. 228.0 228.1 "Trump's alleged plea to Comey stirs obstruction talk". Politico. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 
  229. 229.0 229.1 "Trump asked Comey to end investigation of Michael Flynn: source". Reuters. May 17, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 
  230. "Comey Memo Could Thrust Trump Into a Deeper Legal Quagmire". Bloomberg News. May 17, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 
  231. Gunter, Joel (May 17, 2017). "Could Trump be guilty of obstruction of justice?". BBC News. Retrieved May 21, 2017. 
  232. Vladimirov, Nikita (May 16, 2017). "Former Nixon aide calls Comey Memo 'smoking gun'". The Hill. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  233. 233.0 233.1 "'Total nonsense': Legal experts debunk 'uninformed' theory that Comey could be subject to legal jeopardy for withholding memo". Business Insider. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  234. Le Miere, Jason (June 8, 2017). "Trump under investigation for obstruction of justice, James Comey says in testimony". Newsweek. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  235. 235.0 235.1 235.2 235.3 235.4 Illing, Sean (June 8, 2017). "9 legal experts react to James Comey's testimony: Trump "crossed a line"". Vox. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  236. "Law Professor: Comey "Bombshells" A Big Leap In Potential Obstruction Case Against Trump". Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  237. 237.0 237.1 "Ask a Law Professor: Was it Obstruction?". Just Security. June 8, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  238. 238.0 238.1 Davis, Maia (June 11, 2017). "There's 'absolutely evidence' to begin obstruction of justice case on Trump: Bharara". ABC News. Retrieved June 11, 2017. 
  239. Baker, Peter (May 9, 2017). "In Trump's Firing of James Comey, Echoes of Watergate". The New York Times. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  240. Robinson, Eugene (May 11, 2017). "Trump seems to be staging a coverup. So what's the crime?". The Washington Post. 
  241. "Dan Rather on Comey Dismissal: "What We Have Here Is Clearly a Cover-Up"". CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. CNN. May 10, 2017. 
  242. Buncombe, Andrew (May 12, 2017). "Trump firing Comey is the beginning of a Nixon-like cover up, says editor who covered Watergate". The Independent. 
  243. Wittes, Benjamin; Hennessey, Susan (November 10, 2016). "We Need Comey At the FBI Now More Than Ever". Lawfare Blog. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  244. McKirdy, Euan (May 10, 2017). "Preet Bharara, Sally Yates and James Comey: Fired while investigating Donald Trump". CNN. 
  245. Joseph, Cameron (May 9, 2017). "Preet Bharara sounds the alarm about Trump firing FBI Director James Comey". New York Daily News. 
  246. Stanley, Timothy (May 10, 2017). "Trump had to do it". CNN. 
  247. Darcy, Oliver (May 10, 2017). "Conservative media unleashes on 'national embarrassment' Comey after firing". CNN. 
  248. "Comey Firing Coverage Shows Right-Wing Media Has Lost Its Grip On Reality". Media Matters for America. May 10, 2017. 
  249. Serhan, Yasmeen. "How International Media Saw James Comey's Firing". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  250. "After Comey's dismissal, it's time for a commission". The Economist. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 

External links

Template:Trump presidency