FBI Director James Comey has been in the hot seat for months. And now it looks as though he's been removed from that hot seat once and for all, whether he likes it or not. Now that President Trump has fired the former director, the big question as to who will replace Comey remains.
Romper has reached out to both the White House and FBI for comment on the dismissal and is awaiting a response.
Comey's dismissal comes just days after he sat in front of the Senate judiciary committee to give testimony regarding the alleged hack of the 2016 presidential election by Russian operatives. While testifying, Comey also defended his decision to send a letter to members of Congress just days before the November election about an investigation into former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's emails (the investigation has since been dropped, after Clinton lost the election). White House spokesman Sean Spicer released a statement regarding Comey's abrupt termination by Trump on Tuesday, according to Politico:
Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office. President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“The FBI is one of our Nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark anew beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” said President Trump. A search for a new permanent FBI Director will begin immediately.
President Trump issued a separate letter to Comey, according to The New York Times, which read in part:
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.
Trump went on to explain that:
It is essential that we find new leadership for the F.B.I. that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.
FBI officials have yet to issue a statement and told The New York Times they had not been made aware of Comey's dismissal. Comey was appointed director of the FBI by President Obama in 2013. FBI directors generally have a tenure of a full decade.
Now that Comey has been removed, who will replace him as head of the FBI? Until President Trump chooses a permanent replacement, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will fill Comey's shoes.
While the search will reportedly begin immediately, whomever is chosen will have to go through a full confirmation hearing, which could take a considerable amount of time. What this will mean regarding the FBI's investigation into Russia's involvement during the presidential election is anyone's guess.