So I'm seeing all the news flashes regarding F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump; I'm sure everyone is hearing about this now.

I recall President Trump's campaign aids being under a counter-intelligence investigation by the F.B.I. Trump has now fired the F.B.I director who was in effect overseeing that investigation.

I also recall House, Senate, and F.B.I investigating Russian interference in the elections which benefited Trump.


  • What process really needed to be followed by the US POTUS in order to actually fire the F.B.I Director, certainly is was not as simple as Trump doing it as he did on TV as an entertainer?

  • If You Know: Is there anything such as conflict of interest, some old hidden law in some old books, etc. that some brainiac may know about that could stop this sort of thing from happening?

3 Answers 3


The FBI Director is a position within the executive branch of the US Government, thus the President is able to dismiss him like any other executive branch official.

There's no exact process and the President just needs to announce his intent and in Comey's case, he wrote a letter to him.

Under the Constitution, the FBI Director is an executive branch official and can be removed if needed. But only in one instance since 1908, after the FBI and its predecessor agency were formed, has a President removed an FBI Director from office.

(emphasis mine)

Source: https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/how-independent-is-the-fbi-director-and-can-he-be-removed-from-office

The President has the power to appoint or to dismiss FBI Directors since 1968, as seen in this CRS report.

There are no statutory conditions on the President’s authority to remove the FBI Director.

[ ... ]

Accordingly, the principles discussed above establish that the President may remove the Director of the FBI at will, given that the “power of removal [is] incident to the power to remove.”

[ ... ]

It should also be noted that during Senate consideration of the 1976 measure, Senators Byrd and Hruska emphasized several times that “there is no limitation on the constitutional power of the President to remove the FBI Director from office within the 10-year term. The Director would be subject to dismissal by the President as are all purely executive officers.

(emphasis mine)

So, there are no limitations as to dismissing an FBI Director as they are part of the executive branch that the President helms.


It's important to remember that the FBI and Justice Department fall totally underneath the Executive branch. So while it might look bad, or even appear to be a conflict of interest, it is permissible (emphasis mine)

The president can also fire the FBI director, even without a stated reason for doing so. “There are no statutory conditions on the president’s authority to remove the FBI director,” the Congressional Research Service wrote in a 2014 report. The director is “an at-will employee,” says Scott Bomboy of the National Constitution Center, meaning “he or she will serve at the will of the president.” Bomboy points to the Constitution’s “Advice and Consent” clause, which grants the president power to hire people to work for the executive branch, with congressional approval. “Once that person’s approved, it’s really up to the president as the head of the executive branch to determine their employment status,” he says.

Remember, neither the DOJ, nor the FBI, can remove the President. That power, as well as the ability to investigate the President, resides with Congress.


Short answer, he doesn't. The FBI director is directly hired and fired by the executive branch meaning they can be fired on a whim. Bill Clinton fired William Sessions(no relation to Jeff) and didn't need a reason to do so. Same with Trump with Comey.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .