A copy of James Comey's farewell letter to colleagues, friends and fellow FBI agents was obtained by CNN on Wednesday, 24 hours after the news broke that President Donald Trump fired the FBI director from his position at the Bureau.
In the letter, Comey stated that he won't "spend time on the decision," or "the way it was executed," and says that those in receipt of the letter shouldn't either.
Noting that he "will be fine," Comey added his hopes that the letter's recipients "will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution."
See the letter in its entirety below.
I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all. I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won’t either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply.
I have said to you before that, in times of turbulence, the American people should see the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty, and independence. What makes leaving the FBI hard is the nature and quality of its people, who together make it that rock for America.
It is very hard to leave a group of people who are committed only to doing the right thing. My hope is that you will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.
If you do that, you too will be sad when you leave, and the American people will be safer.
Working with you has been one of the great joys of my life. Thank you for that gift.
Comey learned that he was being fired from his position as FBI director when he saw the news flash across the screen on the television, according to Michael Schmidt of the New York Times.
Schmidt tweeted, "Comey learned of firing as he addressed FBI employees in LA. TV screens in background flashed news of firing. Letter was then given to FBI."
Also, Schmidt noted that the Department of Justice and the White House had been working on Comey's dismissal for at least a week prior to it actually happening.