The president has fired FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and possible ties to the Trump campaign and top aides.
The White House pointed to Comey’s handling of the probe into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email server while secretary of state as the reason for his dismissal.
“President Trump made the right decision to relieve FBI Director James Comey of his duties,” said Ponte Vedra Beach Congressman Ron DeSantis in a statement regarding the dismissal. “I look forward to the President nominating a strong director who will keep the FBI focused on its core mission and out of the political thicket.”
But Democrats were quick to call the move “Nixonian,” claiming that the decision by President Trump was part of an effort to impede the Justice Department’s Russia investigation which, in the view of many leading Capitol Hill Democrats, could now only be managed by a special prosecutor going forward.
“Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement. “President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”
President Trump said, “The FBI is one of our Nation’s most cherished and respected institutions; and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement.”