As FBI director, Comey has become a prominent figure in the world of American politics following 1) the tumultuous 2016 presidential election in which FBI investigations played a central role, 2) and ongoing federal investigations into Trump associates’ possible ties to Russia.
FBI directors serve 10-year terms that overlap presidential administrations as a way to avoid political pressure. However, presidents may dismiss FBI directors before their terms expire. Comey began his position as FBI director under former President Barack Obama in 2013.
Comey came under fire from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her allies after he sent a letter to members of Congress less than two weeks before the election on Nov. 8, 2016. The letter seemed to indicate that the FBI’s finalized investigation into Clinton’s handling of classified documents as secretary of state would reopen.
While the continued FBI inquiry surfaced no new evidence of wrongdoing, many believe Comey’s letter led to Clinton’s defeat against Trump. Other critics bemoan Comey’s refusal to reveal whether the FBI was investigating Trump or his associates because of its potential political impact.
Six U.S. intelligence agencies have reportedly been investigating Trump associates’ possible links to Moscow. The FBI on Monday reportedly cleared Trump’s pick for national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, of any wrongdoing in his contact with members of the Russian government.
H/T New York Times