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From 'Lock her up' to 'You're Fired': The incredible timeline of Trump, Comey, Clinton and Russia

US President Donald Trump yesterday fired FBI Director James Comey.

pjimage The interweaving stories of Clinton, Comey and Trump. Source: PA Images

IN A MOVE that’s rocked Washington DC, US President Donald yesterday fired FBI Director James Comey.

Comey was the man in charge of the bureau’s investigation into alleged ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government.

He was also the man who controversially announced two weeks before the election that the bureau was reopening an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

As they’d done previously, the FBI ultimately decided against recommending any action against Clinton.

But this came two days before polls opened and Democrats, including Clinton herself, have said the damage had been done.

Here’s a look at the key moments in the entire affair.

4 September 2013

Comey is sworn in to office as the seventh director of the FBI. He was nominated for the post by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate.

Comey Sworn-In As Director Of FBI James Comey is sworn in as FBI Director as former President Barack Obama watches on. Source: DPA/PA Images

October 2014

At the State Department’s request, Hillary Clinton turned over around half of 60,000 emails from her personal email account (hdr22@clintonemail.com) that related to her official duties as Secretary of State.

5 July 2016

After investigating the emails sent and received, the FBI concluded that 110 messages contained classified information at the time they were sent.

More than 2,000 emails were later categorised as ‘classified’.

The FBI however the concluded that the Democratic presidential candidate’s actions were “extremely careless” rather than criminal.

In a press conference her said that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring criminal charges against her.

5 July 2016

President-elect Donald Trump speaks at Trump Tower Source: DPA/PA Images

On the campaign trail, Trump calls the FBI’s decision not to bring criminal charges against Clinton “the greatest example yet that the system is rigged.”

7 July 2016

Comey vigorously defends the decision not to prosecute Clinton over her use of a private email server.

Under an onslaught of Republican criticism, Comey says that to charge Clinton would have been unwarranted and mere “celebrity hunting.”

18-21 July 2016

Source: Right Side Broadcasting Network/YouTube

Donald Trump is officially selected as the Republican nominee for president at the party’s convention in Cleveland.

Over the course of the four-days, Clinton’s character is mercilessly attacked by speakers at the convention.

Chants of “lock her up” by attendees are a regularly heard in response to the mention of her name.

28 October 2016

Days before the election, Comey drops a bombshell on the presidential race.

The FBI informs Congress by letter that the bureau was reopening the investigation into Clinton’s email practices based on new evidence, citing the discovery of emails on a laptop used by a top aide Huma Abedin.

Justice Department officials warned Comey against sending the letter, saying that doing so could appear like the FBI is interfering in the election.

Trump reacts to FBI’s decision, telling a campaign rally that he has “great respect for the FBI for righting this wrong.”

29 October 2017

Clinton reacted by saying that she was ‘confident’ the new FBI probe will find she did nothing wrong.

6 November 2016

Two days before the election, Comey tells Congress in a follow-up letter that a review of newly discovered Clinton emails has “not changed our conclusions” that she should not face criminal charges.

Trump criticises Comey’s second letter again making claims about “a rigged system”.

8 November 2016 

US Presidential election A live map of election results at a Trump victory party. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Trump is elected president.

12 November 2016

During a telephone call with top campaign donors, Clinton blames Comey for her defeat by Trump.

Clinton said her campaign was on track to win the election until Comey sent the letter to Congress.

13 November 2016

In a CBS 60 Minutes broadcast after the election, Trump said he hadn’t decided whether to keep Comey.

6 January 2017

Comey is among a group of four top US intelligence officials who briefed then-President-elect Donald Trump on their conclusions that Russia meddled in the presidential election on his behalf.

Trump said he “learned a lot” but declined to say whether he accepted their conclusion about Russian interference.

22 January 2017

DC: President Trump Hosts The Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers And First Responders Reception At The White House Donald Trump and James Comey meet in the White House. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Two days after taking office, Trump appears to single out Comey at a White House reception to thank law enforcement officers and others that helped during the inauguration.

Trump called Comey over to where he was standing in the Blue Room to offer a handshake and a partial hug, then commented that Comey has “become more famous than me.”

14 February 2017

Trump’s national security advisor Michael Flynn  quits his position amid claims that he misled the White House over his contact with Russian officials.

8 March 2017

During a cybersecurity conference at Boston College, Comey said he planned to serve his entire 10-year term, quipping, “You’re stuck with me for another 6½ years.”

20 March 2017

Source: ABC News/YouTube

Comey testifies to Congress that the FBI has been investigating possible links between Trump associates and Russian officials since July, the same month he held an unusual news conference to discuss the investigation into Clinton.

Comey had previously refused to acknowledge the parallel Trump investigation, and his disclosure enrages Democrats who already blamed Comey for costing Clinton the presidency.

Comey testifies at the same hearing that the FBI and Justice Department have no information to substantiate Trump’s unsubstantiated claim on Twitter that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him before the election.

2 May 2017

Planned Parenthood 100th Anniversary Gala - Inside Hillary Clinton speaking at a Planned Parenthood conference gala in New York. Source: AP/PA Images

Clinton again lays part of the blame for losing the election on Comey’s 28 October letter.

“If the election were on 27 October I would have been your president,” she tells a women’s luncheon in New York.

3 May 2017

Testifying before the Senate, Comey insists that he was consistent in his handling of the separate investigations into Clinton and Trump.

Comey also said it made him feel “mildly nauseous” to think his actions in October might have influenced the election outcome. But he told senators:

I can’t consider for a second whose political futures will be affected and in what way. We have to ask ourselves what is the right thing to do and then do it.

Trump Comey James Comey on Capitol Hill in Washington. Source: Carolyn Kaster/PA Images

9 May 2017

Comey sends Congress a letter correcting his prior sworn testimony regarding emails handled by longtime Clinton associate Huma Abedin.

Comey had told Congress that Abedin had sent “hundreds and thousands” of emails to her husband’s laptop, including some with classified information.

The two-page, follow-up letter said that, in fact, only “a small number” of the thousands of emails found on the laptop had been forwarded there while most had simply been backed up from electronic devices.

9 May 2017

Trump abruptly fires Comey.

“It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission,” Trump states in a letter addressed to Comey.

- With reporting by Associated Press 

Read: ‘Nothing less than Nixonian’: Democrats hit out after Trump fires head of the FBI >

Read: His take on her emails helped derail Hillary’s campaign, now Comey is standing up to Trump >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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