The Decision to Fire James Comey

BY EDWARD KLEIN/ November 8, 2016

Obama and Comey

Obama and Comey: Out the door

After persistent prodding by Valerie Jarrett to remove James Comey from his job as director of the FBI, President Obama has agreed the time has come to fire America’s top cop.

According to a White House source familiar with Obama’s decision, Jarrett and the president held lengthy discussions over the past several days about the political and legal ramifications of firing the FBI director.

The president was furious with Comey for reopening the FBI’s investigation of Hillary’s emails 11 days before the election, then admitting 2 days before the election that he couldn’t find any cause for taking action against the Democratic nominee.

But the president was reluctant to move against Comey for fear that it would open him to charges of obstruction of justice.

However, according to the White House source, Jarrett convinced the president that it was within his power to remove the FBI director for his ill-conceived and erratic interference in the presidential election.

She also argued that there would be bipartisan support in Congress for such a move against Comey, who has alienated both Democrats and Republicans.

After the White House legal counsel agreed with Jarrett, Obama ordered his top advisers to draw up a plan for getting rid of the troublesome FBi director.

It has yet to be decided who will wield the hatchet—the president, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, or someone else—and exactly when Comey will be forced to go. So far, the only firm decision is that Comey will not be fired until after the election.

Other sources within the FBI report that Comey may be gone before the president has a chance to act. According to these sources, there is a mounting consensus in the FBI that Comey has inflicted permanent damage on the institution and that he no longer has the confidence of his staff.

According to these sources, Comey has lost the good will of his agents and some of his deputies, and more and more of them are clamoring for his resignation.

“I met with friends from the FBI and Justice,” said a retired Justice Department official, “and they were all in agreement that Comey’s jerky decisions—opening the case against Hillary without definite cause, then closing it without consulting with his top deputies—was flabbergasting and deeply disturbing for career law enforcement and prosecutors.

“Whatever support and goodwill Jim had until recently has been destroyed,” this source continued. “He has injured the bureau and it will take a miracle for him to survive this.”

(This article originally ran on MailOnline)