Former FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to his former colleagues on Wednesday, encouraging them not to dwell on his abrupt firing by President Donald Trump.
The letter, obtained by CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz, also urges Comey’s old FBI staff to continue the agency’s mission of “protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.”
“I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed,” Comey said in the letter. “I hope you won’t either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply.”
He continued: “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.”
Trump unexpectedly fired Comey Tuesday evening, immediately raising suspicions that the president was attempting to stifle the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Trump’s possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 election. Subsequent reports claimed that Comey had asked the White House last week for more resources for the investigation, and that the investigation was “accelerating.”
The White House has maintained that Comey was dismissed because of the way he handled an FBI probe into former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s email practices.
Read Comey’s full letter:
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.
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