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Brown Introduces Bill To Prevent President From Firing FBI Director Without Cause

May 17, 2017
Press Release
Brown: FIRED Act Holds Irrational President Accountable

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) introduced the “Fighting for Intelligent, Rational, and Ethical Dismissal Act” or the FIRED Act (H.R. 2446). The bill will prevent the President of the United States from firing the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) without good cause. Brown’s bill will help ensure the President cannot interfere with ongoing investigations and help insulate the FBI from partisan politics.

The FIRED Act will amend Section 1101(b) of Title VI of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, by adding “The President may remove the Director for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.” While the Director of the FBI is not protected from being terminated from their post, Brown’s bill ensures that they would only be dismissed if a dereliction of duty has occurred.

“We need to be certain the FBI Director can perform his or her duties free from threats from the Oval Office or partisan politics. If the FIRED Act were in place, Mr. Comey would still be leading the FBI investigation into Michael Flynn and the President’s ties with Russia,” said Congressman Brown. “As more information about the FBI’s Russia investigation comes to light, it is clear that President Trump has made disturbing decisions raising serious questions.”

On May 9, President Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey after receiving a memo from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein regarding Comey’s actions as Director. However, the President later stated, “I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.” Trump said he would have fired the Director of the FBI “regardless” of the rationale offered in Rosenstein’s memo.

Comey is only the second FBI Director to be fired. William Sessions was dismissed on July 19, 1993 by President Bill Clinton, after an investigation determined that he evaded taxes and raised serious questions regarding his conduct. Former Attorney General Janet Reno concluded that Sessions could “no longer effectively lead the Bureau and law enforcement community.” Clinton relied on the determination of Attorney General Reno to make his decision.

“The firing of Director Comey is unprecedented and without cause,” said Congressman Brown. “We must work to restore faith and trust in our justice system.”