p. 60 – 69

“At that meeting, the President asked McGahn how Comey had done in his testimony and McGahn relayed that Comey had declined to answer questions about whether the President was under investigation. The President became very upset and directed his anger at Sessions. According to notes written by Hunt, the President said, ‘This is terrible Jeff. It’s all because you recused. AG is supposed to be most important appointment. Kennedy appointed his brother. Obama appointed Holder. I appointed you and you recused yourself. You left me on an island. I can’t do anything.’ The President said that the recusal was unfair and that it was interfering with his ability to govern and undermining his authority with foreign leaders. Sessions responded that he had had no choice but to recuse, and it was a mandatory rather than discretionary decision. Hunt recalled that Sessions also stated at some point during the conversation that a new start at the FBI would be appropriate and the President should consider replacing Comey as FBI director. According to Sessions, when the meeting concluded, it was clear that the President was unhappy with Comey, but Sessions did not think the President had made the decision to terminate Comey.”

Before firing Comey, Trump had spent time drafting a letter with senior adviser Stephen Miller regarding how the firing was to occur. He did not want the letter to show that the termination of Comey had anything to do with the investigation, but rather that Comey was under a “review period” and “did not have assurance from the President that he would be permitted to keep his job.”

“The final version of the termination letter prepared by Miller and the President began in a way that closely tracked what the President had dictated to Miller at the May 5 dinner: ‘Dear Director Comey, While I greatly appreciate your informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation concerning the fabricated and politically-motivated allegations of a Trump-Russia relationship with respect to the 2016 Presidential Election, please be informed that, along with members of both political parties and, most importantly, the American Public, have lost faith in you as the Director of the FBI and you are hereby terminated.'” Trump’s reasoning in the letter for firing was because he needed, “a leader that restores confidence and trust.”

“On May 9, Hunt delivered to the White House a letter from Sessions recommending Comey’s removal and a memorandum from Rosenstein, addressed to the Attorney General, titled ‘Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI.'” This version of the letter was preferred by Trump, because it would make it appear that the recommendation to fire Comey did not come from Trump and that he just accepted it. It was agreed that the original letter should never “[see the] light of day.”

“To announce Comey’s termination, the White House released a statement, which Priebus thought had been dictated by the President. In full, the statement read: “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.” 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *