Former FBI Director James Comey says in a farewell letter that he does not plan to dwell on President Donald Trump’s decision to fire him or the “way it was executed.”
He says in the letter that although he’ll be fine, he will miss the FBI and its mission “deeply.”
The President abruptly fired Comey Tuesday, ousting the nation’s top law enforcement official in the midst of an investigation into whether Trump’s campaign had ties to Russia’s election meddling.
In his own letter to Comey, Trump said the firing was necessary to restore “public trust and confidence” in the FBI. Comey has come under intense scrutiny in recent months for his role in an investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s email practices, including a pair of letters he sent to Congress on the matter in the closing days of last year’s election.
Comey’s letter circulated among his friends and colleagues. It was first posted online by CNN Wednesday night and a person who had seen the note confirmed the online version was authentic.
Comey also says that “in times of turbulence, the American people should see the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty, and independence.”
He says that “it’s very hard to leave a group of people who are committed only to doing the right thing.”
Read the full text below:
I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all. I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won’t either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply.
I have said to you before that, in times of turbulence, the American people should see the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty, and independence. What makes leaving the FBI hard is the nature and quality of its people, who together make it that rock for America.
It is very hard to leave a group of people who are committed only to doing the right thing. My hope is that you will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.
If you do that, you too will be sad when you leave, and the American people will be safer.
Working with you has been one of the great joys of my life. Thank you for that gift.