How did we get here? A timeline of James Comey's FBI controversies

James Comey is only the second director in the FBI's storied history to be fired.

In the year leading up to Comey's abrupt firing on Tuesday, he was at the center of two controversial investigations: the probe into Hillary Clinton's emails, and the ongoing investigation into whether Trump campaign officials colluded with Russia during the election.

So how did we get here? Let's take a look back at the key moments of leading up to Comey's recent FBI controversies.

June 2013

President Obama appointed Comey as the seventh director of the FBI. His career included time in the private sector as well as a tenure as deputy attorney general under President George. W. Bush. Succeeding former FBI Director Robert Mueller, Comey was confirmed by the Senate for a full 10-year-term.

"I must be out of my mind to be following Bob Mueller,"’ he said at the time. "I don't know if I can fill those shoes, but I know that, however I do, I will be standing truly on the shoulders of a giant."

August 2015

With the 2016 presidential primaries in full swing, the FBI confirmed it was investigating Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as secretary of State.

July 1, 2016

President Obama's attorney general, Loretta Lynch, said she would accept the recommendations from the FBI and career prosecutors on the Clinton email case.

July 2, 2016

Clinton was interviewed by the FBI for 3.5 hours.

July 5, 2016

Comey called Clinton's server "extremely careless," but gave a news conference in which he explained that Clinton would not be prosecuted.

July 6, 2016

Lynch accepted the FBI's recommendation not to charge Clinton.

July 7, 2016

Comey appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and was grilled for his decision to recommend against charging Clinton.

Sept. 7, 2016

Comey wrote a memo to his employees, defending his recommendation.

Sept. 28, 2016

Appearing during a congressional oversight hearing, Comey once again defended his recommendation not to charge Clinton.

"You can call us wrong, but don’t call us weasels. We are not weasels," Comey said. "Whether or not you agree with the result, this was done the way you want it to be done."

Oct. 28, 2016

Comey announced that new emails had been discovered on the laptop of former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who was married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and that messages may be related to the Clinton probe. His announcement came 11 days before Election Day

Nov. 6, 2016

Two days before the presidential election, Comey wrote a letter to lawmakers saying that the previous decision not to prosecute Clinton over her emails would stand.

March 20, 2017

During a public hearing with the House Intelligence Committee, Comey publicly acknowledged that the FBI is investigating whether there was collusion between members of Donald Trump's campaign and Russia.

Additionally, Comey dismissed Trump's claims that Trump was wiretapped by the Obama administration.

May 3, 2017

Comey made another trip to the Hill, defending his Oct. 28, 2016, decision to publicly announce the emails found on Weiner's laptop.

"It makes me mildly nauseous that we would have had an impact on the election," Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

During the hearing, Comey said "hundreds and thousands" of emails had ended up on Weiner's laptop because of Clinton aide Huma Abedin. He said Abedin made "regular practice" of forwarding emails to her husband, Weiner.

May 9, 2017

After reports surfaced that Comey had misstated Abedin's handling of the emails, the FBI confirmed Comey's erroneous testimony in a letter to lawmakers.

Hours later, the White House announced that Comey had been fired.

Read more:

President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey

Democrats call for independent Russia probe in wake of Comey firing

5 key points in memo calling for FBI Director James Comey's firing

Tweets fly fast and furious following firing of FBI head Comey

James Comey is one of several officials President Trump fired

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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