President Donald Trump will retain James Comey as director of the FBI.
The New York Times reports Comey briefed senior agency officials about the transition last week, and indicated that the president had asked him to keep his post atop the nation’s largest law enforcement agency.
As the perception that Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation swung the election in Trump’s favor calcifies into conventional wisdom, his position looked increasingly precarious. As recently as Jan. 15, Vice President Mike Pence declined to express support for the embattled director.
The FBI director is appointed to a 10 year term, to insulate the office from political influence. However, the president can dismiss the director for cause. Comey, who served as deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration, was appointed director by former President Barack Obama in 2013. (RELATED: No One Can Agree On Comey’s Place In The Trump Administration)
Trump’s decision creates stability at the highest levels of government, as a tumultuous transition period has left vacancies in key positions across the federal government.
As of Sunday, Comey seemed a safer bet to maintain the directorship. At a White House event honoring law enforcement, Trump spotted Comey and greeted him warmly with a handshake and a pat of the back.
“Oh, there’s Jim, he’s become more famous than me,” the president said.
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