Donald Trump pulled a move many are calling ‘Nixonian’ on May 9 when he fired FBI Chief James Comey, who was investigating the president’s ties to Russia and their influence in the 2016 election. Here’s five things to know about the nation’s former top cop.
1. James Comey was investigating President Trump’s close ties to Russia when he got sacked.
The timing of his firing comes as he was leading a counterintelligence investigation to determine whether Trump or his associates worked with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election versus Hillary Clinton,. 69. Since Comey was appointed by then-President Barack Obama, 55, in 2013, it’s unclear if his replacement will continue investigating Trump’s alleged collusion with the Russians.
2. Clinton blamed Comey for throwing the election in Trump’s favor by re-opening her personal e-mail server investigation days before voters headed to the polls.
“I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on Oct. 28 and Russian Wikileaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off,” she said on May 2. “And the evidence for that intervening event is compelling, persuasive.”
3. As United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Comey led the prosecution of Martha Stewart on security fraud charges in 2004.
He prosecuted the domestic diva after she received inside information from her broker that a company’s CEO was going to dump some stock the following day due to an adverse FDA ruling. Her sale of the ImClone Systems stock saved her a $45,000 loss, but landed her in trouble with the feds for securities fraud and obstruction of justice. After a six week jury trial in March 2004, she was found guilty of felony charges of conspiracy, obstruction of an agency proceeding, and making false statements to federal investigators. She wound up spending five months in a minimum security prison.
4. Comey has served as Acting Attorney General of the United States.
He took over the position when Attorney General John Ashcroft was hospitalized in 2004 in an intensive care unit. During that time, Bush administration tried to take advantage of John’s ill condition to reinstate a domestic surveillance program, which Comey heard about and beat them to the hospital. He later told Congress that, “I thought I just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man, who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they had been transferred to me.”
5. Comey claims no political affiliation.
He was once registered as a Republican and was first appointed to a federal position by George W. Bush’s administration. Still, President Obama had enough faith in his talents to appoint him as Director of the FBI in 2013. During congressional testimony in July 2016, he revealed he is no longer registered to any political party.
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked Trump fired Comey?