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February 2018


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Emails Show FBI Shocked, Saddened by Comey’s Firing, Countering Trump Narrative

Special counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

President Trump’s controversial decision to fire James Comey as FBI director last year shocked and saddened many people in the bureau, according to more than 100 pages of emails written by agents in the days following the termination.

While the emails poured in, Trump claimed the bureau had “lost confidence” in its leader, which many inside the FBI feverishly denied and dismissed as the president’s shameless campaign to smear the bureau. 

The emails were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by security analyst Benjamin Wittes, editor of the legal affairs blog Lawfare. The bureau turned over 103 of the 116 emails that were identified.

“We are not going to let this defeat us … it will only make us stronger,” the head of the Knoxville field office emailed her staff. “I know you all know our director stood for what is right and what is true. He truly made us better when we needed it the most.”

The special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit office emailed, “I hope this is an instance of fake news.”

The assistant director of the FBI’s Office of Victim Assistance wrote in an email, “Our hearts may be heavy but we must continue to do what we do best, which is to protect and serve the American people.”

The emails starkly contrast with Trump’s contention that morale had plummeted under Comey, who told congressional investigators that the president pressured him to an investigation into a former aide.

Just weeks later, Trump’s Justice Department appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Trump and Russia.

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