The firing of James Comey puts the Trump-Russia investigation in immediate jeopardy and removes from the investigative hierarchy the one senior official whom President Trump did not appoint and one who is known to stand up to power.
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There is but one key personnel decision, in the upcoming Trump administration, that is absolutely clear: FBI Director James Comey must remain in place.
Remember how harshly Attorney General Eric Holder was criticized for not disclosing the FBI’s discovery of then CIA Director David Petraeus’s extramarital affair and improper communications with Paula Broadwell until just after the 2012 presidential election? That incident and this one should remind us it's not accurate or helpful to deny that the DOJ, and in this case the FBI, gets some discretion when it comes to deciding whether to make pre-election disclosures about ongoing investigations. The question is not whether they have discretion but what makes for reasonable exercise of that discretion.
This week, the Aspen Security Forum featured interviews with—among others—FBI Director James Comey, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, and NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers. I have edited these discussions down to manageable length and focused them on the questions most of interest to Lawfare readers.
Comey's discussion with CNN's Wolf Blitzer is most notable for his comments on ISIS and encryption—as well as some pointed comments about cybersecurity.
Both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee will hold hearings today on strong encrpytion, privacy, and the threat of "Going Dark."
The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing will begin this morning at 10:00 am. FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates will appear on the first panel. Panel II will include Cyrus Vance, Jr., Lawfare's Herb Lin, and Peter Swire.