Why James Comey Doesn't Want President Trump To Be Impeached

The former FBI Director opened up in his ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos.

During a one hour interview that aired exclusively on ABC's 20/20, former FBI Director James Comey explained why he doesn't want President Donald Trump to be impeached. Comey, who was fired by the president in May, spent much of the interview with George Stephanopoulos sharing his perspective on the months he spent overseeing an investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then a presidential candidate.

But despite the tumult of the last two years and his own dismissal from the FBI by the president's administration, Comey's response to whether Trump should be impeached was decidedly measured.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee during hearing in the Hart Senate Office building June 8, 2017, in Washington DC.
Former FBI Director James Comey testifies in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee during hearing in the Hart Senate Office building June 8, 2017, in Washington DC. Shutterstock / mark reinstein

"Impeachment is — is a question of law and fact and politics," Comey said when asked if President Trump should be impeached. "I'll give you a strange answer. I hope not because I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they're duty bound to do directly. People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values."

Comey insisted that Republicans and Democrats and independent voters treasure certain values that cross party lines. He said he believes core tenets like the rule of law, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion unite Americans. He insisted that a lot of Trump supporters come from military families and that their fathers and grandfathers did not fight and die for immigration policies or tax policies or for a Supreme Court justice nomination. Instead, they fought and died for those ideas, Comey said.

"And at some point, we have to focus on that and make sure that whoever's leading us embodies those and we judge that leader by their tether to those values," he said. "Then we'll go back to fighting like cats and dogs about all the things we normally fight about."

Cover image via mark reinstein / Shutterstock.com.

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