Comey was fired for refusing to pledge personal loyalty to Trump

Donald Tump and James Comey
Donald Tump and James Comey
President Donald Trump and FBI Director James Comey during a reception at the White House for law enforcement officials on Jan. 22, 2017. (Al Drago/The New York Times)

Michael S. Schmidt reports at NYT:

Only seven days after Donald J. Trump was sworn in as president, James B. Comey has told associates, the F.B.I. director was summoned to the White House for a one-on-one dinner with the new commander in chief….

As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.

Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge.

The White House disputes Comey’s version of events. Trump, who keeps changing his story, told NBC’s Lester Holt on Thursday that Comey was a showboat and a grandstander. He could have been talking about himself. I believe Comey’s associates, who spoke to the Times.

When you take the federal oath of office under 5 U.S. Code § 3331, as I did upon entering the civil service in 1979, you pledge to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” You do not pledge loyalty to the president. Whatever his faults, Director Comey showed that he took this seriously. By demanding loyalty, Mr. Trump showed contempt for the Constitution and ignorance of history. We are a nation of laws, not men. That core tradition is under threat.



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