Democratic Congressman Calls On James Comey To Resign From FBI

J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) on Sunday called for James Comey to step down as director of the FBI over the letter he wrote to Congress announcing the discovery of emailed that are “potentially related” to Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

“He should resign his position effective immediately,” Cohen wrote in a public statement.

Noting that he didn’t know Comey’s “reasoning” for sending the letter so soon before Election Day, Cohen said “it was plainly premature, careless and unprecedented in its potential impact upon a Presidential election without a speak of information regarding the emails in question, their validity, substance or relevance.”

By breaking from Justice Department protocol about keeping information about ongoing investigations private, Cohen wrote, Comey falsely gave “an impression of guilt before all the facts have been determined.”

The New York Daily News’ editorial board and CNN’s Paul Callan have also called for Comey to resign, while Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has accused the FBI director of potentially violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity.

In his statement, Cohen wrote that Comey’s actions undermined the reputation of the FBI and Department of Justice.

“At a minimum, Director Comey’s actions are, to use his own verbiage, ‘extremely careless’ this close to the election and without any apparent substance,” Cohen wrote. “If Director Comey cares about the Bureau and the rule of law, as I have felt he has in the past, I’m sure upon reflection of this action, he will submit his letter of resignation for the nation’s good.”


Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.