FBI Director James Comey, a native of Yonkers, has been fired as FBI director by President Donald Trump in a surprising announcement made late Tuesday afternoon.
The firing, which the White House says came on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, comes just days after Comey testified to Congress regarding his handling of the email investigation of Chappaqua's Hillary Clinton.
The move will undoubtedly draw controversy as the FBI is in the midst of an investigation of contacts between Trump’s 2016 campaign aides and Russian officials prior to November's presidential election.
Earlier Tuesday, the FBI notified Congress that Comey misstated key findings in the investigation and saying that only a “small number’’ of emails had been forwarded by Clinton aide Huma Abedin to her husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner, not the “hundreds and thousands’’ Comey had stated in his testimony.
“The president has accepted the recommendation of the Attorney General and the deputy Attorney General regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau,” Trump stated in a letter to Comey.
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission. The FBI is one of our nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” Trump said in a statement.
Comey lived in Yonkers until his teenage years before his family moved to Allendale, N.J., where he graduated high school.
Comey is the grandson of William Comey, a longtime Yonkers police officer who became the department's commissioner.
Comey, a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was chosen by President Barack Obama to lead the FBI in 2013 in a 10-year appointment.
Comey had earlier served as deputy attorney general from December 2003 through August 2005 under President George W. Bush.
He worked as general counsel at Lockheed Martin Corp from 2005 to 2010. In 2010, Comey became general counsel of the Westport-based Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world. In 2013, he left Bridgewater to become senior research scholar and Hertog Fellow on National Security at Columbia University Law School in New York before his appointment to the FBI.
Trump, who owns the $19 million Seven Spring estate in Bedford, also owns Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Stormville and Trump National Westchester in Briarcliff Manor. The Trump name also adorns Trump Tower At City Center in White Plains, Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, Trump Park Residences in Yorktown and the Donald J. Trump State Park on the Westchester/Putnam border.