Outgoing President Donald Trump had used four pages to express his anger at FBI chief James Comey in a draft letter sacking him, which got leaked on Monday. However, the draft letter was examined by Robert Mueller's special counsel inquiry and was never sent to Comey, who was fired as the FBI chief in May 2017.
Portions of the contents of the highly classified draft letter were revealed by ABC News, who said it had been leaked by sources connected to the Mueller probe, reported the Daily Mail. The laek comes just hours before Trump leaves the White House as President of the United States.
The four-page draft letter was a personal tirade against Comey but never got sent. The original letter was drafted by aide Stephen Miller following an extensive dictation from Trump which included research by Miller. Trump then edited the letter several times, reported the Daily Mail.
The letter contained extensive criticism of Comey which Trump thought needs to be expressed before sacking him. Its contents reveal Trump's deep personal grudge toward Comey, who Trump came to tweet about 218 times while in office. However, the original draft was found to be too dangerous 'to see the light of day' following scrutiny by White House lawyers, the Mueller report revealed.
A portion of the letter revealed by ABC News reads: "Your conduct has grown unpredictable and even erratic – including rambling and self-indulgent public performances that have baffled experts, citizens and law enforcement professionals alike – making it impossible for you to effectively lead this agency."
However, in the end Trump sent a one-page letter to Comey firing him from his job. Along with that there an accompanying one-page letter from then attorney general Jeff Sessions and a three-page memo from then deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.
Too Caustic and Dangerous
Under normal circumstances such a high-profile leak would have invited for an investigation but it comes less than 48 hours before Trump leaves office to make way for Joe Biden as the 46th US President. The letter, according to experts, is a bombshell and could have impacted Trump's term had it got leaker earlier.
Trump, in the letter, had written that Comey had spent "too much time cultivating a public image, and not enough time getting your own house in order." Moreover, it also mentioned Trump's obsession with leaks, at a time when reports of contacts between his campaign and Russians were plaguing the White House, accusing Comey over overseeing "rampant leaks."
'You've shown a total inability to control leaks, both within and outside the agency,' he had written. He even accused Comey of using the leaks in 'partisan warfare,' a referring to the mounting calls from Democrats for an investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia at that time.
Understandably, Trump's grudge was a result of the rampant leaks at that time that shook the White House. These leaks included the warfare between his own daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner on one hand and his adviser Steve Bannon on the other.
Trump goes on to accuse Comey of "strange legal decisions and contradictory public statements," and said he had "sowed confusion" among his own staff. And finally he claimed there was a "a near-rebellion by many rank-and-file agents."
He end the letter by writing "You have lost the confidence of the skilled professionals in your command, the congressional lawmakers with whom you work, and the general public whom you serve." However, the letter was way different from the one Trump finally sent on May 9, 2017 firing Comey from his job.
The letter was hand delivered to FBI headquarters and Comey learnt about his firing from TV news alerts. Mueller inspected both letters and stated in his report that the White House Counsel's office - then headed by Don McGahn - believed it "shouldn't see the light of day."