* Here’s the big news of the day:
FBI Director James B. Comey has been dismissed by the president, according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer – a startling move that officials said stemmed from a conclusion by Justice Department officials that he had mishandled the probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Comey was fired as he is leading a counterintelligence investigation to determine whether associates of President Trump may have coordinated with Russia to meddle with the presidential election last year. That probe began quietly last July but has now become the subject of intense debate in Washington. It is unclear how Comey’s dismissal will affect that investigation.
* Trump said he acted on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. You can read the memos they wrote on the matter here. The case made by Rosenstein is focused almost entirely on Comey’s July 5th public statement that the FBI was not pursuing a criminal case against Hillary Clinton regarding her emails.
* Apparently this has been in the works for the last week.
WH and DOJ had been working on firing Comey since at least last week. Sessions had been working to come up with reasons.
— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) May 9, 2017
* Clinton’s former press secretary expressed how a lot of us are reacting to the news.
I'm not shedding any tears for Comey personally -he hurt FBI's reputation- but I do worry whether we ever get to the bottom of Russia now
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) May 9, 2017
* In the last few days the president has obviously become increasingly concerned about the Russia/Trump probe. That is what Clinton’s former running-mate noticed about this development.
Trump firing Comey shows how frightened the Admin is over Russia investigation
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) May 9, 2017
* The Attorney General’s involvement in this is also raising a lot of questions.
The Attorney General, having recused himself from probe into Russia & Trump, recommends firing the guy leading probe into Russia & Trump. https://t.co/5W9b2RpLvm
— Mary Louise Kelly (@NPRKelly) May 9, 2017
* Finally, this pretty much sums up what the president has in mind next.
And now Donald Trump gets to appoint the FBI director who will investigate Donald Trump.
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) May 9, 2017
* Update: As per Michael Schmidt’s tweet above, this is the story:
Senior White House and Justice Department officials had been working on building a case against Mr. Comey since at least last week, according to administration officials. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had been charged with coming up with reasons to fire him, the officials said.
* Update II: Even Jennifer Rubin gets how ridiculous their stated reasons are.
@RonBrownstein No. The Rosenstein letter is give away. There is no reason it wouldn't have justified the firing months ago. The timing is the entire issue
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) May 9, 2017