James Brien Comey Jr. (born December 14, 1960) is an American lawyer who served as the seventh Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from September 2013 until May 2017. Comey has been a registered Republican for most of his life, but is now independent.
Comey was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from January 2002 to December 2003, and subsequently the United States Deputy Attorney General from December 2003 to August 2005. Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to be the Special Counsel to head the grand jury investigation into the Plame affair after Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself.
In August 2005, Comey left the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and became general counsel and senior vice president of Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda, Maryland. In 2010, he became general counsel at Bridgewater Associates, based in Westport, Connecticut. In early 2013, he left Bridgewater to become a Senior Research Scholar and Hertog Fellow on National Security Law at Columbia Law School. He served on the Board of Directors of HSBC Holdings until July 2013.
In September 2013, Comey was appointed Director of the FBI by President Barack Obama. In that capacity, he was responsible for overseeing the FBI's investigation of the Hillary Clinton email controversy. His role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, particularly with regard to his public communications, was highly controversial. His decisions have been regarded by a number of analysts, including Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, to have likely cost Clinton the election.
Comey was dismissed by President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017, days after Comey reportedly requested increased resources from the DOJ for the FBI's investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election, a report which was later denied by the DOJ. A statement released by the White House said that removing Comey will help bring the Russia investigation to a conclusion. Later that day, Trump stated that he was thinking of "this Russia thing with Trump and Russia" when he decided to dismiss Comey. In a private conversation with the Russian government, Trump stated that he "faced great pressure on the Russian investigation. That's [now] taken off". Trump stated that he fired Comey to "ease" the Russian investigation against him—calling him a "nut job". According to a personal memo allegedly written by Comey, Trump asked him to personally end the investigation into General Michael Flynn. The memo also stated that Trump asked for the jailing of journalists who publish leaks of classified information.
Reports have stated that Comey believes that Trump tried to influence him on the Russia probe.
Last Updated: June 8, 2017