Comey, James Brien, Jr., 1960–, American law enforcement official, b. Yonkers, N.Y., grad. William and Mary, 1982, Univ. of Chicago Law School, 1985. He was assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York (1987–93), returned to private practice, then was assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (1996–2002), U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York (2002–3), and deputy U.S. attorney general (2003–5), and then served as general counsel at Lockheed Martin Corp. (2005–10) and Bridgewater Associates (2010–13). In 2013, President Obama named Comey director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The 2016 presidential election led to FBI probes into both major party campaigns. In July, 2016, Comey began an investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state, ultimately concluding that criminal prosecution was not justified; his announcement, late in the campaign, that new emails were being reviewed became controversial, especially after his decision was unchanged. A 2018 investigation criticized his publicly commenting about the Clinton email case while reaffirming the outcome. The FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the election, including possible collusion with the Trump campaign, led in 2017 to his dismissal by President Trump. Subsequently Comey disclosed that Trump had asked him to end the investigation into former Trump national security adviser and campaign adviser Michael Flynn's relationship with Russia. Comey later (2019) was later rebuked by a Justice Dept. report for disclosing memos he wrote about his meetings with Trump. A Higher Loyalty (2018) is a memoir of his time in government service.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies