Fired FBI director James Comey to teach ethics at Virginia college

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 19, 2018 10:49 AM

(Reuters) - James Comey, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director who was fired last year by U.S. President Donald Trump, will teach a course on ethical leadership at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, the school said on Friday.

Comey has been by turns castigated and lionized by both Democrats and Republicans for overseeing high-stakes FBI investigations that overshadowed the election campaigns of Trump and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in 2016.

"Ethical leaders lead by seeing above the short term, above the urgent or the partisan, and with a higher loyalty to lasting values, most importantly the truth," Comey said in a statement released by the college, the country's second oldest.

Comey graduated from William & Mary in 1984 with a double major in chemistry and religion, and will teach for a full academic year beginning this fall.

The school's president, Taylor Reveley, praised his "abiding commitment to ethical behavior" in a statement.

Trump fired him last May, citing a memorandum by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that criticized Comey for his handling of the criminal investigation into Clinton's use of an unauthorized private email server while U.S. secretary of state.

At the time, Comey was also overseeing a counterintelligence investigation into possible Russian government efforts to influence the U.S. election and whether Russian officials had inappropriate contacts with Trump campaign officials.

Trump has also been highly critical of that investigation, calling it a "witch hunt" against him. Comey has pointed to such comments as the real reason he was fired.

Comey's firing forced Rosenstein to appoint Robert Mueller, another former FBI director, as special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, which is ongoing. Mueller has since charged four people who worked for Trump's campaign or in his White House for lying to the FBI and money laundering.

Clinton has said she partly blames Comey for her loss to Trump in the 2016 election.

Comey oversaw the investigation into the mishandling of classified government secrets by her and her staff on the email server kept in her New York home.

In July 2016, four months before the presidential election, Comey made a public announcement closing the investigation, in breach of usual FBI practices, a step he said was necessary to maintain public faith in the investigation's integrity.

He said Clinton and her staff were "extremely careless" in handling classified information and that there was evidence they may have unknowingly broken laws, but recommended against prosecution.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Frank McGurty and Andrea Ricci)