Tags: FBI | agents | James Comey | firing

FBI Agents in Tears Over Comey Firing

Image: FBI Agents in Tears Over Comey Firing
Former FBI Director James Comey (AP Photo)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 May 2017 10:47 PM

FBI agents around the nation were reeling at President Donald Trump's abrupt firing of Director James Comey – with one veteran reportedly "in tears" and others saying they were blindsided by the decision.

"We just have no idea why this happened. No idea," a recently retired top FBI official who worked closely with Comey on multiple investigations told Politico.

"No one knew this was coming. Everyone is just shocked that this happened."

The former official said current and former agents were phoning, texting, and emailing one another about the firing — and its timing.

"Everyone is asking, 'Why now? What is the reason for doing it now?'" the former official told Politico. "If this had happened immediately after the election, that would be one thing. Everyone was thinking it may happen then. But now? People keep asking if it's because of Russia."

At FBI headquarters, one senior official told Politico the bureau was essentially in lockdown, not answering calls flooding in and referring all questions to the Justice Department.

"We were caught totally off guard," that official told Politico.

Another veteran special agent told the outlet: "I'm literally in tears right now. That's all I have to say."

Former agent Lewis Schiliro, a 25-year veteran of the New York field office, told Politico, "the way it was done was not real nice."

"He could have asked for his resignation and given him a little bit of time to bow out gracefully," Schiliro told Politico, yet noted Comey undermined his status by holding a press conference last fall to announce he was closing the investigation into Clinton's private server.

"He brought the bureau into a political situation when it ought not to be. That's not the place for the FBI," Schiliro told Politico. "I think Comey was trying to play investigator and prosecutor and putting both hats on was a drastic mistake on his part."

But Trump's decision will likely cause a "significant amount of backlash" within the rank and file, David Gomez, a former FBI agent who led the Seattle field office until his 2011 retirement, predicted.

"They're going to view this as a political decision that impugns not only the integrity of director Comey but of the entire FBI itself," he told Politico. "It's ill-advised. It's a political thing that is going to, to use the vernacular, come back and bite him in the butt."

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FBI agents around the nation were reeling at President Donald Trump's abrupt firing of Director James Comey – with one veteran reportedly "in tears" and others saying they were blindsided by the decision.
FBI, agents, James Comey, firing
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2017-47-09
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 10:47 PM
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