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James Comey Should Not Have Been Fired

| by Mark Jones

President Donald Trump's decision to fire (now former) FBI Director James Comey on May 9 was a rash decision that was made without any legitimate reasons. 

Trump formally announced that Comey had been fired through a White House statement, reports ABC News. 

"President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions," said part of the statement. 

According to ABC News, two FBI sources have said that Comey's termination was read to him over the phone. Another said that Comey initially found out he had been fired after seeing reports on TV. In addition, Trump wrote a letter to Comey in which he explained the reasons for his dismissal.

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"While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau," the letter read. 

"It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission," it continued.

Trump's claims that Comey is unfit to lead the FBI are objectively false. His decision to fire Comey was not well thought out, nor did Trump have the country's overall well-being in mind when he made the decision. Rather, his firing of Comey was purely motivated by Trump's own self-interest. 

First of all, Comey is an extremely qualified individual. According to The New York Times, he served as the attorney general during former President George W. Bush's administration. When he assumed the post of FBI director in 2013, he did so with bipartisan support, something that is very helpful in the world of politics. 

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In addition, according to The New York Times, FBI directors usually serve 10-year terms. This practice is meant to protect the directors from political pressure, allowing them to do their job to the best of their ability. It is true that presidents have always had the ability to fire the director, but Trump's decision to fire Comey has the potential to usher in a dangerous precedent that may end up being a distracting force for future FBI directors. 

With this in mind, it becomes clear that Trump's decision to fire Comey was not motivated by concern for the United States, but by something else. One possible explanation is that Trump sees him as a threat. 

According to Axios, Trump's opinion of Comey changed several times over the course of his 2016 presidential campaign. For example, around the time of October 2016, when Comey was investigating Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's emails, Trump expressed his support of Comey's actions. However, when Comey said that he had not found anything to justify charges against Clinton, Trump's attitude toward the director changed.

This change in attitude shows that Trump's opinion of Comey is influenced purely by how the former director's decisions affect him. When it seemed like Comey's actions would work in his favor, Trump had a positive opinion toward him. However, when the opposite seemed to be true, his thoughts changed. 

This self-serving attitude should become even more apparent when one considers one of Comey's ongoing investigations at the time he was fired. According to The New York Times, Comey was leading an investigation into whether Trump's advisers had worked with the Russian government during Trump's campaign in order to secure his win. 

If Trump's advisers were found to be guilty, it would obviously spell very bad news for Trump. Given his past interactions with Comey, it is not ludicrous to suggest that Trump fired Comey in an attempt to cover up dubious actions that his campaign may have taken. With this in mind, it should be clear to all that Trump was in the wrong to fire Comey.

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Sources: ABC News, The New York Times, Axios / Photo credit: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)/Flickr

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