Controversial FBI Director James Comey Stays On

January 24, 2017 On Tuesday, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey told U.S. officials that President Trump asked him to stay on as head of the bureau. Director Comey was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013.

The FBI director does not change when a new administration takes the reigns, but due to criticism by both the Trump and Clinton campaigns on his handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server, Comey’s future with the FBI was uncertain.

In July, 2016, after Comey announced the agency was recommending no charges be filed against Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton, then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump released a statement the same day calling the FBI’s conclusions part of a “rigged system.” Then with only eleven days left before the 2016 presidential election, Comey announced the agency discovered new emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server. The new messages were discovered through a separate FBI investigation into former of New York Rep. Anthony Weiner. The emails came from Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin’s cell phone. Huma Abedin is one of Clinton’s closest aides and worked in the State Department under Clinton.

The Trump campaign praised Comey’s decision to go public with the information, but the U.S. Justice Department questioned the unprecedented move — especially so close to Election Day. The DOJ inspector general is now investigating Comey and the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation. Investigators are looking at whether Comey failed to comply with department policies and procedures by publicly releasing details of the case and announcing that the investigation was being reopened so close to a presidential election.

On the eve of the presidential election, when Comey informed Congress the FBI found nothing criminal in the newly discovered emails that would change its July conclusion that Clinton shouldn’t be charged — the Trump campaign again, cried foul. After Donald Trump won the election, Hillary Clinton’s team blamed Comey, in part for the loss.

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