Although he is not a politician, James Comey is a prominent figure when it comes to politics in the recent history of the United States. He’s one of the frontiers in the events that led to Donald Trump’s rise as the President of the United States of America. Comey is globally known as the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
However, at the beginning of Trump’s administration, he was laid off on May 9, 2017, which cut short his ten-year tenure to four years. Beyond his contributions to the election of Donald J. Trump, his dismissal sparked a political chain of events that led to the impeachment of Donald Trump in 2020.
James Comey’s Road to Dismissal Began In 2015
President Barack Obama appointed James Comey as the FBI director in 2013. After securing the role, he established a need for the bureau to divest from political matters. However, that changed in 2015 when the bureau, under his direction, began a series of investigations into Hillary Clinton over the use of private email servers.
Although the investigation did not lead to any charges against the then-presidential candidate, the timing proved beneficial to President Trump’s campaign, and his eventual victory in the 2016 election.
The chain of events initially proved useful to the Republican party and its President. However, Comey’s admittance that the Russian government hacked servers and email accounts associated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party in October 2016 drew ire from the Republican wing.
James Comey testified to Congress in January 2017, re-confirming the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election. This confirmation was met with animosity from the U.S. President, Donald Trump. However, at the time, he stated he had no interest in firing the FBI director.
Comey’s Refusal to ‘Play Ball’ Fueled His Predicament
Continued investigation into the role of the Russian government in the 2016 election revealed possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia. The confirmation of the investigation sparked a backlash from the United States President who pressured the FBI director to refute the links.
Aside from denying the links, James Comey’s refusal to cosign allegations that the Obama administration illegally wiretapped the Trump campaign further put his position as FBI director under threat from the U.S. president.
After months of investigation and threats of being fired, Donald Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017. On the same day, the U.S. Attorney’s Office subpoenaed Michael Flynn, the National Security Adviser at the time, and senior advisor to Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. The subpoena was part of investigations into his possible involvement with Russia’s role in the election.
The firing process began on May 8, 2017, when Donald Trump asked then-Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, to prepare a memo as an explanation for his firing.
The Real Reason James Comey Got Fired
The universal belief is that James Comey’s dismissal was a result of the FBI’s investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia. The belief was encouraged by subsequent pieces of evidence and the timing of his termination. However, the official reason for the dismissal was his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. According to the memo written by Rod Rosenstein, how he handled the investigation was ‘wrong’. The memo also alleged he usurped the prerogative of the US Justice Department and the Attorney General in announcing the closure of the investigation into Clinton’s emails.
Following his firing, James Comey became the second FBI director to be fired by a U.S. President. The first, Williams S. Sessions, was fired by President Bill Clinton after accusations of tax evasion and other unethical actions.
He Has Been Married For Over Three Decades
Patrice Failor is the supportive woman behind James Comey. They walked down the aisle sometime in 1987 and have stayed married for over three decades.
James and Patrice met at a college party and ever since their meeting, they haven’t been able to let go of each other. Their tale got more interesting as Patrice nominated him for the position of dorm president while they were both in college.
Their union has produced five children – two boys and three girls; Abby, Collin, Claire, Kate, and Maureen. Unfortunately, death snatched Collin away just nine days after his birth as he suffered from a bacterial group B streptococci infection.
His Daughter Serves in the US Justice Department
When James Comey makes the news, it is often for his professional life. However, he has also made the headlines for a couple of personal reasons. The most significant is his daughter, Maurene, who is an assistant U.S. attorney serving in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Maurene is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has led a couple of high-profile cases since assuming the position, including the Jeffrey Epstein case. She has also worked on several other cases involving racketeering, embezzlement, and obstruction of justice.
James Comey Has Led A Relatively Quiet Life Since He Left Office
Running one of the largest intelligence agencies in the world is not comparable to the demands of everyday life. The former FBI director has led a quieter life since he was relieved of his duties. In 2018, he published his first book, A High Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership. The book sold more than 600,000 copies in its first week.
Aside from becoming an author, he joined the College of William & Mary, his alma mater, as an executive professor in education. He taught a course on ethical leadership during the 2018/2019 academic year.
In addition to his professional ventures, he has continued to contribute to America’s political discourse. He penned an op-ed in the Washington Post over a blackface picture in February 2019. The op-ed covered the controversy around U.S. racism and the removal of Confederate monuments and memories. In May 2019, he published another op-ed, this time, in the New York Times, about the resignation of General Mattis from the Trump administration.
This Republican Congress has proven incapable of fulfilling the Founders’ design that “Ambition must … counteract ambition.” All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall. Policy differences don’t matter right now. History has its eyes on us.
— James Comey (@Comey) July 18, 2018
Furthermore, he has expressed his support for the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, for the 2020 U.S. presidential election. James Comey was a registered Republican for the majority of his life. He quit the party in July 2016, citing the party’s departure from its fundamental values.