CBS News’ Pat Milton confirms that President Trump has asked James Comey to remain in his job as FBI director. Comey has a ten-year term that extends for another six years, so in essence, Mr. Trump has just decided not to fire Comey at this point. Comey was appointed FBI director in 2013 by Obama.
But, Mr. Trump will likely have to revisit Comey’s job status in about a year.
The Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General’s (IG) is currently working on a review of how the FBI and the rest of the Justice Department handled its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server. Inspector General Michael Horowitz says his team will review the actions leading up to Comey’s decision to send letters to Congress on Oct. 28 and Nov. 6 alerting Congress and the public to new emails that were found in the investigation.
Shortly before Election Day, the FBI had discovered Clinton-related emails on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the scandal-ridden former congressman who had been married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, which became public when Comey notified Congress of the discovery. Clinton and many Democrats believe that this was a factor in her loss of the election to Mr. Trump. The IG says that he will look at whether certain underlying decision were based on “improper considerations.”
Also under review -- whether certain officials should have been recused from the investigation and whether the Department and FBI improperly disclosed non-public information.
The report is expected to be embarrassing for the FBI, since it will review many of its most controversial decisions in its one of its most controversial cases. It will provide Mr. Trump another opportunity to consider replacing the FBI Director, armed with a detailed watchdog report.
Mr. Trump treated Comey warmly when he saw him Sunday at a White House event. He singled Comey and the head of the U.S. Secret Service, Director Joe Clancy out for praise. He summoned both up for handshakes and pats on the back. Trump said of Comey, “He’s become more famous than me.”
CBS News’ Mark Knoller contributed to this report.