James Comey, that was appointed FBI director in 2013, attracted scrutiny for his investigations during and after the 2016 U.S. Presidential race. He was fired by president Donald trumped in 2017.

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Who Is James Comey?

Born in Yonkers, brand-new York in 1960, James Comey started his rise as a government prosecutor ~ graduating from the university of Chicago law School in 1985. He to be appointed U.S. Attorney because that the southerly District of brand-new York in 2001, and in 2003 he came to be deputy lawyer general. In 2013, Comey was confirmed as director of the FBI. However, he came to be embroiled in conflict due to his investigate of 2016 presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and also Donald Trump, resulting in his discontinuation by chairman Trump in may 2017.

Early Years

Born top top December 14, 1960, in Yonkers, brand-new York, James Brien Comey Jr. Came from a family devoted to polite service and law enforcement: His grand served together Deputy Public safety Commissioner that Yonkers in the so late 1940s, and his dad, a actual estate executive, came to be a councilman after relocating the family to Allendale, brand-new Jersey, in the 1970s.

Comey and also his brothers Peter sustained a scary episode in October 1977, when they were hosted at gunpoint in their home by the so-called "Ramsey Rapist," before escaping and calling police. Comey later detailed that the incident allowed him come empathize v crime victims.

After graduating from northern Highlands local High School, Comey majored in chemistry and religion at the university of wilhelm & mary in Virginia. He climate enrolled at the college of Chicago regulation School, earning his J.D. In 1985.

Early Career

Following law school, Comey clerked because that a new York district judge and also joined the certain of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. In 1987, he ended up being an assistant U.S. Attorney for the southern District of new York, under Rudolph Giuliani, demonstrating a journey that observed him end up being lead prosecutor in a high-profile case versus crime boss john Gambino.

Comey join the Virginia-based legislation firm of McGuireWoods, LLP in 1993, climbing to the rank of partner. In 1996, that was called deputy special counsel of a committee charged with investigating the Whitewater actual estate dealings of President invoice Clinton and first Lady Hillary Clinton.

That year Comey began a five-year stint together assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern district of Virginia, his major cases consisting of an investigation into the 1996 Khobar Towers battle in Saudi Arabia.

Rise come FBI Director

In 2002, Comey’s career take it a major step forward through his meeting to the post of U.S. Attorney for the southern District of new York. His quick time there was significant by his start of Martha Stewart over insider trading, bring about prison time for the famous media personality.

Named deputy come U.S. Attorney general John Ashcroft in 2003, Comey was connected in a showdown with peak members that the George W. Bush administration after Ashcroft was hospitalized the complying with spring. Together he later recalled in a Senate testimony, Comey raced come the hospital to head off White home counsel Alberto Gonzales and chief of employee Andrew Card, who allegedly want Ashcroft to reauthorize an illegal residential surveillance program. Through the imposing Comey at his side, a dilute Ashcroft made it clear he would not grant his approval.

In 2005, Comey left his federal government position come become senior vice president and general counsel in ~ Lockheed martin Corp. 5 years later, he join the Connecticut-based investment company Bridgewater Associates as counsel.

In June 2013, president Barack Obama nominated James Comey to succeed Robert Mueller together FBI Director. His 10-year appointment was shown the following month by a 93-1 counting in the Senate.

Controversy and also Termination

In July 2016, Comey was thrust right into the middle of a vitriolic presidential campaign through the FBI’s examination into autonomous nominee Hillary Clinton's usage of a personal email server. Ultimately electing no to recommend charges, he however raised eyebrows through publicly rebuking Clinton's actions.

Amid speculation about Russian attempts to affect the election, Comey in late October 2016 revealed that he had actually reopened the investigation right into Clinton's emails. Return he later on announced the his recommendation remained unchanged, he was blamed by Clinton supporters for tipping the balance ahead of Donald Trump's stunning choice Day victory.

Remaining in his article for the brand-new administration, Comey to be unable come steer clean of the spotlight. Throughout an appearance before the residence Intelligence Committee in march 2017, the refuted Trump's claims around being wiretapped by former President Obama and also confirmed one investigation into the trump campaign's relationships with Russia. In ~ a Senate hear in beforehand May, Comey listed that the felt "mildly nauseous" end the idea the he can have influenced the 2016 presidential race.


President Donald Trump, center, shakes hands through James Comey, director of the federal Bureau of investigation (FBI), throughout an Inaugural law Enforcement policemans and very first Responders reception in the Blue Room the the White residence in Washington, D.C., top top January 22, 2017. 

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On may 9, president Trump abruptly fired Comey together FBI director. The White home initially pinned the decision ~ above the recommendation of Deputy Attorney basic Rod Rosenstein and also Attorney basic Jeff Sessions, despite the justification because that the firing continued to change in complying with days. Trump later on told reporters in ~ the White residence that he had actually fired Comey “because the wasn’t act a good job,” and he said Lester Holt in an NBC News interview the his decision was no solely based upon recommendations native Sessions and also Rosenstein. "I to be going come fire Comey," the chairman told Holt in the televised interview. "Regardless the the recommendation I was going come fire Comey."

President Trump more addressed Comey's shooting in a might 12 tweet which argued that he had actually taped his conversations through Comey back the White residence did not deny or confirm the visibility of tapes. "James Comey far better hope the there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he start leaking to the press!" the president tweeted.

There was much more fallout a week after Comey's firing as soon as the New York Times reported that President Trump had asked Comey come shut under the investigation into previous national protection adviser Michael Flynn. According to the New York Times, Comey created in a memo that the president told the in a conference a job after Flynn resigned: "I hope you can see your method clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. The is a good guy. I hope you have the right to let this go."

The White residence denied this insurance claim in a statement: "While the president has actually repeatedly to express his check out that basic Flynn is a decent man who served and also protected our country, the president has actually never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any kind of investigation, including any kind of investigation involving general Flynn."

On may 17, Comey's predecessor in ~ the FBI, Robert Mueller, to be appointed one-of-a-kind counsel by Deputy Attorney basic Rosenstein to look right into allegations the the trump campaign's collision v Russians. The was believed that the investigation would veer into the terrain of whether the president obstructed justice by shooting Comey.

Testimony before Congress

Comey agreed come testify under oath before Congress around his interactions v President-Elect and then president Trump. In his opening remarks prior to the Senate pick Committee on intelligence on June 8, 2017, Comey handle his firing. “Although the law requires no reason at every to fire one FBI director the management then determined to defame me and more importantly the FBI through saying that the organization was in disarray, that it to be poorly led, the the work force had lost confidence in its leader,” Comey said. "Those to be lies plain and also simple. And also I to be so sorry the the FBI work force had come hear them and also I to be so sorry that the American civilization were said them.”

During his testimony and also in a ready statement released prior to his testimony, Comey declared that he had actually assured Trump the he was no under FBI examination related come alleged ties in between his campaign and also Russia. As soon as the president repeatedly told Comey “we need to acquire that truth out,” Comey wrote in the statement: “I did no tell the President the the FBI and the room of Justice had actually been reluctant to do public explanation that us did not have actually an open instance on chairman Trump for a number of reasons, many importantly due to the fact that it would produce a duty to correct, should that change.”


Former FBI director James Comey is sworn in while testifying prior to the Senate intelligence Committee in the Hart Senate Office building on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.

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(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Comey likewise detailed that the one-on-one meetings he had with trump compelled him to paper their interactions in memos. “Creating created records automatically after one-on-one conversations v Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward. This had not to be my exercise in the past. Ns spoke alone through President Obama double in person (and never on the phone) — as soon as in 2015 to discuss law enforcement policy issues and a second time, briefly, for him to say goodbye in so late 2016. In no of those circumstances did i memorialize the discussions. I can recall ripe one-on-one conversations with President trumped in 4 months — 3 in person and six on the phone.”

One such one-on-one meeting was a dinner Comey had actually with president Trump in the environment-friendly Room at the White home on January 27, 2017. Comey composed that he had actually assumed there would certainly be rather at the dinner, yet “It turned out to be just the 2 of us, sit at a little oval table in the center of the environment-friendly Room.”

“The President started by asking me whether I want to stay on together FBI Director, i beg your pardon I uncovered strange since he had currently told me twice in earlier conversations that he hoped I would stay, and also I had assured him that ns intended to,” Comey recorded in his written statement. “He said that too many of civilization wanted my job and, offered the abuse I had actually taken throughout the vault year, the would know if I want to walk away.

“My instincts called me that the one-on-one setting, and also the pretense the this to be our an initial discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an initiative to have me ask because that my job and also create some sort of patronage relationship. That concerned me greatly, offered the FBI's traditionally independent standing in the executive, management branch.”