Thursday June 8 2017 was a monumental day for the Trump administration. Former FBI Director James Comey testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on alleged ties between Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russia as well as reports that the President asked Mr Comey for “loyalty” as he pushed for an end to the FBI investigations into the issue. Jeremy Comey is a figure that has been synonymous with the investigations into both presidential candidates in the last US elections, here is a time line of ongoing saga between James Comey and Trump administration.
During Hilary Clinton’s stint as Secretary of State, her use of non-government issued emails to discuss classified information was investigated. On July 5th, when the FBI director came to the conclusion that there would be no charges filed against Clinton, then presidential nominee Trump stated “Today is the best evidence ever that we’ve seen that our system is absolutely, totally rigged. It’s rigged.” Trump has very public with his criticisms of Clinton, Obama and the government in general. Trump usually goes to twitter to express his strongest views on current affairs, with words such as “While our wonderful president was out playing golf all day, the TSA is falling apart, just like our government! Airports a total disaster!” Or “if Hilary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?” Trump is quick to deflect any attention from himself by highlighting the inadequacies of others.
A couple months later on October 28th 2016, Trump seemed to forgive the FBI. But only after Comey announced that the FBI had discovered information that appeared pertinent to the investigation against Clinton. Trump even praised Comey, tweeting “I respect the fact that Director Comey was able to come back after what he did. I respect that very much.” That didn’t last long. By November 6th, the FBI announced that they found nothing to incriminate Clinton. Trump changed positions and tweeted “She is being protected by a rigged system. It’s a totally rigged system,” The relationship between Comey and Trump seemed strained and the two were not seen together in public until January 22nd; two days after Trump’s inauguration.
The interaction between both men was awkward to say the least. Friend of Comey, Benjamin Wittes described what happened at the meeting; “Trump grabs his hand and attempts an embrace. The embrace, however, is entirely one-sided. Comey was disgusted. He regarded the episode as a physical attempt to show closeness and warmth in a fashion calculated to compromise him before Democrats who already mistrusted him.”
The Last straw
By January 27, the relationship between both men seemed fine. Trump had Comey over for dinner. But during this dinner Trump apparently asked Comey to swear his loyalty. Right around time it was revealed Russia may have been involved with Trump’s election. By February 14, Trump had told Comey that “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,” this was a direct reference as to investigation regarding the former NSA director.
Trump fires Comey
Unceremoniously, James Comey’s tenure at the FBI was abruptly terminated by President Donald Trump on 9 May 2017. It has been widely reported that Mr Comey was speaking to agents at the FBI’s field office in Los Angeles when the news of his firing flashed on TV screens. Laughing, the former FBI director was reported as saying he thought it was a prank and made a joke about it to lighten the mood, but of course he would later discover that this was no joke.
Donald Trump’s reason for firing James Comey, was ironically over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Make no mistake this was a dramatic dismissal of the man in charge of investigating the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia.
Comey has been keen in his desire to tell his version of events since then and when he testified on June 8, he certainly did not hold back. Mr Comey told the Senate that he informed Mr Trump that he was not personally under investigation. However interestingly, Mr Comey also said that the FBI and Justice Department were reluctant to state that publicly “because it would create a duty to correct, should that change.” This last sentence is telling and could yet lead to even greater revelations further the line. One thing is for sure in all this, the Trump administration has not heard the last of Mr Comey.
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