In laying out his case for firing FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein cited Comey’s bizarre commentary during his investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server.
The memorandum was sent Tuesday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who then forwarded it to President Donald Trump with his endorsement. Trump then quickly acted, firing Comey “effective immediately.”
“I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the near universal judgment that he was mistaken,” Rosenstein wrote. “Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes, it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.
“At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors … The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial. It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.
The memo continues – citing former Justice Department officials from Presidents of both parties who said it was inappropriate for Comey to issue conclusions about whether or not federal prosecution is needed, Breitbart reports. Such an opinion, they believe, is not the purview of federal prosecutors.
Judge Lawrance Silberman, now Senior Judge of the Court of Appeals of the DC Circuit and President Gerald Ford’s Deputy Attorney General, is quoted as saying, “it is not the bureau’s responsibility to opine on whether a matter should be prosecuted … [Comey’s] performance was so inappropriate for an FBI director that I doubt the bureau will ever completely recover.”
The letter that Comey wrote on Oct. 28 last year stating that his office had re-opened the Clinton email investigation case was clearly misconduct, Rosenstein writes.
The FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.
Here are the three pages of the memo: