FBI Director James Comey, whose handling of the federal inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State was harshly criticized by both Republicans and Democrats during the contentious presidential campaign, is expected to remain under new President Trump, an official with knowledge of the matter confirmed Tuesday.
Comey, more than three years into a 10-year term as chief of the federal law enforcement agency, told top aides in recent days that Trump had asked him to stay on, said the official who is not authorized to comment publicly on the matter. The director and Trump briefly discussed the matter during their first meeting in New York about three weeks ago.
Although FBI directors are appointed to decade-long terms, they can be removed by the president.
The news about Trump asking Comey to stay was first reported by The New York Times.
Last summer, Trump slammed Comey following a July announcement that the FBI would not be recommending criminal charges against the Democratic presidential nominee, despite characterizing her use of the private email server as “extremely careless.”
Trump reversed his assessment in October when Comey notified Congress 11 days before the general election that he was re-opening the inquiry after discovering a new cache of emails on a computer used by former New York congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
That inquiry was closed again without charges two days before the election, though Clinton has blamed the episode and Comey for her defeat.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Kevin Johnson