As preparations are on for the high drama of James Comey's testimony before the senate intelligence committee on Thursday as part of ongoing investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the United States presidential election, here is a timeline of significant events.
4 September, 2013: James Comey is sworn in as the seventh director of the FBI.
5 July, 2016: Comey announces no criminal charges will be filed against Hillary Clinton for her email practice as Secretary of State.
5 July, 2016: Trump the campaigner calls the FBI decision rigged.
7 July, 2016: Comey speaks in United States Congress and defends his decision not to prosecute Clinton.
22 July, 2016: Wikileaks publishes 22,000 emails pinched from the Democratic Party.
25 July, 2016: The FBI confirms Wikileaks hack is being probed.
7 October, 2016: Exactly a month before the United States election, America’s top homeland security officers say Russia is interfering in the United States election.
8 October, 2016: With 11 days to go before the election, Comey delivers a stunning blow to Clinton. Announces that he is opening up a new investigaton based on new evidence.
Soon, word is out that the Justice Department warned Comey not to let out this information so close to the election. From then till election day, Trump goes at the new information, “saluting” the FBI.
6 November, 2016: Around 48 hours before election day, Comey says the new review has not changed the FBI’s conclusions. In simple language, Clinton should not face criminal charges.
8 November, 2016: Trump wins election
6 January, 2017: Comey briefs Trump on FBI view that Russia meddled in the US election on Trump’s behalf.
10 January, 2016: The same intelligence committee where Comey will testify Thursday asks Comey a pointed question on whether the FBI is investigating Russian links in Trump’s election. Comey does not answer.
18 January, 2017: Trump informs Comey he intends to retain him as FBI chief
February 2017: Trump administration asks FBI to play down news reports of Russia’s links to the Trump’ campaign. FBI declines.
20 March, 2017: Comey testifies before the House Intelligence Committee and says the FBI is indeed investigating Russia - Trump campaign links, since July 2016. In the same place, he also ignores Trump’s allegations that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.
2 May, 2017: Hillary Clinton resurfaces. Says it was Comey’s letter 11 days before Election day that cost her the White House.
2 May, 2017: Trump reacts. Tweets that Comey is the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton. Comey requests Justice Department chief Rod Rosenstein for more funds to spend on the Russia-Trump investigation
3 May, 2017: Comey testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, makes crucial mistakes in details about classified information. Trump grumbles about Comey’s testimony during a golf session. Trump calls DoJ chiefs to White House and asks them to write out the case against Comey.
9 May, 2017: Dochiefif Rosenstein sends a letter to Trump recommending that he fired Comey.
9 May, 2017: Trump sends a letter to FBI saying Comey is fired.
10 May, 2017: Taking it on the chin, Comey sends an elegant farewell letter to the FBI. This is how it begins: “I have long believed that a president can fire an FBI director for any reason or no reason at all. I am not going to spend time on that decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won’t either. It is done and I will be fine.”
Comey’s shocking exit marked a watershed moment not just for the young Trump presidency but a news gathering war among the finest in political journalism. The Washington Post and The New York Times fired on all cylinders and scoop after scoop began. The White House was brought to its knees ( and won’t show it), Watergate became the new retro thing and now, Trump’s team is shaking its head in disbelief as The Post brings Kushner into the firing line. America needs a drink, bars have opened early Thursday for Comey on the rocks.
Published Date: Jun 08, 2017 08:08 pm | Updated Date: Jun 08, 2017 08:21 pm