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Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey

It comes after several reports indicated Comey made inaccurate statements during his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.
Posted at 8:07 AM, Jun 07, 2017

President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey.

The White House said the president's decision followed "clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions." Those recommendations cite Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails as grounds for his dismissal.

It comes after several reports indicated that Comey made inaccurate statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week while defending his decision to tell Congress his team was looking into Clinton's emails again — just days before the election.

ProPublica, which first reported the story Monday, says Comey erred in his description of how some of Clinton aide Huma Abedin's emails got on her husband's laptop.

"Was there classified information on former Congressman Weiner's computer?" Sen. John Kennedy asked.

"Yes. ... His then-spouse, Huma Abedin, appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him, I think to print out to her, so she could then deliver them to the secretary of state," Comey replied.

But that characterization of it being a "regular practice" was an overstatement, unnamed sources told the outlet as well as The Washington Post. ProPublica described the number of emails forwarded as "a handful."

In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee's chairman Tuesday, the FBI said that while Abedin "commonly forwarded emails to others" for printing purposes, only "a small number" of the emails related to the Clinton investigation had been manually forwarded. Instead, most of the emails "occurred as a result of a backup of personal electronic devices."

Comey did testify that some emails had gotten on the laptop through Abedin backing up her mobile device.

"She forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails, some of which contained classified information," Comey told Sen. Ted Cruz. 

"12 of them were classified, but we'd seen them all before," Comey told Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. 

But according to the FBI's letter, investigators "identified approximately 49,000 e-mails which were potentially relevant to the investigation" and only 12 chains contained classified information. Ten of the chains were on the laptop due to a backup, while Abedin had "manually forwarded" two other chains.

ProPublica reported none of the emails that Comey said were found on Weiner's laptop were actually marked as classified when they were sent. It's possible some of them were retroactively upgraded to classified after being sent.