Former FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to friends and agents within the bureau he led until Tuesday, reaffirming President Donald Trump’s power to fire him and urging the agency to remain “a rock of competence, honesty, and independence” for the American people.
I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all. I'm not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won't either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply.
I have said to you before that, in times of turbulence, the American people should see the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty, and independence. What makes leaving the FBI hard is the nature and quality of its people, who together make it that rock for America.
It is very hard to leave a group of people who are committed only to doing the right thing. My hope is that you will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.
If you do that, you too will be sad when you leave, and the American people will be safer.
Working with you has been one of the great joys of my life. Thank you for that gift.
Comey’s firing Tuesday shocked many in Washington and came as he was reportedly expanding the score of the FBI’s probe into possible election ties between Russia and Trump’s team.
In his letter informing Comey he was fired, Trump seemed to imply that Comey’s actions had resulted in the FBI losing the trust of the public.
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”