(RNN) – President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey, the White House has announced.
“The president has accepted the recommendation of the U.S. 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 told reporters in the briefing room on Tuesday.
“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,” President Trump said in a statement. A search for a new permanent FBI director will begin immediately, it added.
According to the Associated Press, Comey sent a letter to Congress on Tuesday correcting his testimony on Huma Abedin’s emails. Abedin was a top aide to Hillary Clinton.
The letter said Comey testified that Abedin had forwarded “hundreds and thousands” of emails to the laptop of her then-husband former Rep. Anthony Weiner.
The corrected testimony said that only a small number of emails on the laptop were forwarded. The rest occurred as backup from other devices, the AP reports.
He was responsible for overseeing the FBI’s investigation of the Hillary Clinton email controversy during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
His decision to go public with the re-opening of the investigation into Clinton’s emails only eight days the election led analysts to say the announcement cost Democratic nominee Clinton the election.
During his May 3 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey said the thought that the decision might have affected the election made him “mildly nauseous.” He nevertheless fiercely defended his decision, saying any attempt to conceal the investigation would have been “catastrophic.”
Comey is only the second FBI Director to be fired.
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