In a letter obtained by CNN just a few minutes ago, now-former FBI Director James Comey – fired by President Donald Trump on Monday afternoon – released the following heartfelt farewell to the employees of the FBI, urging them not to focus on his firing but instead to continue to put their energies toward the safeguarding of our nation:
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.
James Comey was not fired in person, but rather found out about his firing while giving a speech to fellow FBI agents at the Los Angeles field office. Reactions to Mr. Comey’s firing by President Trump have run the gamut — from strongly supportive to reluctantly supportive to extremely opposed and some nuanced reactions in between. The current word on the Hill is that the freshly unemployed former director has been invited to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee as early as next week.