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FBI Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump

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Political Editor – LeNora Millen

President Trump has fired the director of the FBI, James B. Comey, over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, according to the White House statement on Tuesday. Comey was leading the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections with possible ties to the Trump campaign and top aides.

The White House pointed to Comey’s handling of the probe into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email server while secretary of state as the reason for his dismissal. Democrats were quick to contend that the decision by President Trump was part of an effort to impede the Justice Department’s Russia investigation and said the probe could now only be managed by a special prosecutor going forward.

Mr. Comey’s dismissal is a shocking development, specifically when then-candidate Trump benefited from the FBI investigation of the Democratic nominee Clinton during the 2016 campaign.

Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing on the FBI on May 3. Comey was terminated from his position on Tuesday according to a statement from the White House press secretary.

The abrupt firing also raises questions over whether Trump is trying to influence the Russia investigation. According to Trump, he was following recommendations from the Justice Department, which criticized how Mr. Comey concluded the investigation into Mrs. Clinton.

Director Comey broke with longstanding tradition and policies by publicly discussing the Clinton case last July and chastising her “careless” handling of classified information. In the campaign’s final days, Comey announced that the FBI was reopening the investigation, a move that earned him widespread criticism.

In a letter to Comey on Tuesday, Trump states the following,

“I have received the attached letters from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General of the United States recommending your dismissal as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.”

“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau,” Trump continued. “It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”

The dismissal comes as the FBI is investigating any Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any Russian ties to Trump associates. Comey had most recently come under fire for misstating how many sensitive emails Huma Abedin, an aide to Hillary Clinton, forward to her husband, Anthony Weiner.

Why Fire Comey Now? 

The White House released several documents after Comey’s firing, including the letter that Trump sent informing Comey of his termination, the memo from Attorney General Jeff Sessions recommending Comey’s dismissal to the President, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s memo to Sessions on Comey.

“The Director of the FBI must be someone who follows faithfully the rules and principles of the Department of Justice and who sets the right example for our law enforcement officials and others in the Department,” Sessions wrote to the President. “Therefore, I must recommend that you remove Director James B. Comey, Jr., and identify an experienced and qualified individual to lead the great men and women of the FBI.”

It was the strongly worded memo written by Rosenstein to Sessions that outlined Comey’s missteps and laid out the argument for his removal.

“The current FBI Director is an articulate and persuasive speaker about leadership and the immutable principles of the Department of Justice,” Rosenstein wrote. “He deserves our appreciation for his public service. As you and I have discussed, however, I cannot defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unite people of diverse perspectives.”

Rosenstein further stated his case for Comey’s removal, citing a succession of bad decisions on Comey’s part in handling the Clinton email case so publicly.

“The director was wrong to usurp the attorney general’s authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution,” Rosenstein continued. “It is not the function of the director to make such an announcement. At most, the director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors. The director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department.”

Rosenstein also included opinions from multiple former attorneys general and deputy attorneys general baffled at Comey for discussing the Clinton email case without any indictments.

“The way the director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong,” Rosenstein wrote. “As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the search for a new FBI director will begin immediately.

“The FBI is one of our nations most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” Spicer said in a statement.

Updates on the article as reports develops…

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Business

Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired by Morgan Stanley for Alleged Misconduct

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Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley following allegations of misconduct, NBC confirmed on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley declined to say specifically what prompted the firing. The allegations were presented after a woman who was not employed at the firm accused Mr. Ford of acting inappropriately in a professional setting.

Mr. Ford’s termination reported by HuffPost as an exclusive has been challenged by the former Congressman as “false claims.”

Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired from his position as a managing director at the financial services firm Morgan Stanley for what the company described as behavior “inconsistent with our values.”CreditMike Groll/Associated Press

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Mr. Ford denied the sexual harassment allegations, stating in a tweet on Thursday that he will be bringing legal action against the reporter, for making false claims against him, as well as Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination.

“This simply did not happen,” Mr. Ford wrote. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.” He added that socializing with members of the press was part of his job, and said that “false claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”

Mr. Ford served five terms in Congress as a Democrat representing a Tennessee district after first being elected in 1996—serving as Congressman from 1997 to 207.

He joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and senior client-relationship manager in 2011 as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser at Bank of America.

Amid the heightened scrutiny of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toppling key figures in the entertainment and political arena, Mr. Ford is the latest high profiled man to lose his job in recent days for similar allegations.

Time magazine on Wednesday named the “Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year. They shared personal stories about harassment and assault and sparked the #MeToo movement.

According to Time, the #MeToo became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

In a tweet acknowledging his thoughts on the “Silence Breaker” quite pointed in his statement, Mr. Ford said the following in regards to news of his firing on Thursday, “This simply did not happen.  I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In another tweet, Mr. Ford spoke about his professional demeanor and his tremendous respect for the brave women speaking out “in this important national dialogue.”  Mr. Ford was pointed in stating that false claims alleged against him “undermine the real “Silence Breakers.”

Mr. Ford appeared as a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” MSNBC – which is owned by NBC 4 New York’s parent company.

“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr.,” a spokeswoman for MSNBC said. “During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”

LeNora Millen            12-7-17

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Business

TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s Morning Show ‘News One Now’

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TV One is canceling Roland Martin’s morning show “News One Now,” Roland made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday.

“Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, who thanked audiences for their support, said the last episode will air on Dec. 21.

Roland Martin’s morning show “NewsOne Now” was cancelled due to budget cuts according to various reports from reliable sources.

“They called a meeting on Wednesday and told the staff they were canceling the show. They’re having significant financial problems and they have to scale back,” a source said. “After four years of award-winning programming and distinguished service to our viewers as the only black daily newscast on television, the network has made the difficult decision to suspend the production of NewsOne Now as a daily morning news show. The last live show is scheduled [Dec. 21],” TV One’s interim GM, Michelle Rice wrote in a memo.

Host of “News One Now” Roland Martin speaks on stage during ColorofChange.org 10 Year Anniversary Gala. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for ColorOfChange)

The news of “NewsOne Now” cancellation shocked Martin and staffers according to sources. The network had recently expanded the morning show to two hours in September.

The memo added: “While we will continue our long-standing partnership with Roland Martin to ensure his important voice can be heard across all Urban One platforms examining issues of importance to the black community, we regret this decision adversely affects several of our valued colleagues whose positions will be eliminated with the suspension of the show.”

The network issued a statement on Twitter that read, “We are committed to providing quality news to our viewers and to our long-standing relationship with @rolandsmartin #NewsOneNow who will continue to have a voice on #TVOne.”

LeNora Millen         12-07-17

 

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Editor Picks

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

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Why declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is so controversial?

The final status of Jerusalem has always been one of the most difficult and sensitive questions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the United States declares Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it would be seen as prejudging that question, deciding an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations and breaking with the international consensus on the holy city.
Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital also moves the United States one major step closer to relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be seen as cementing Israeli sovereignty over the city.

More from CNN…

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