James Comey timeline: From Clinton email scandal to Russia investigation

KTRK logo
Thursday, June 8, 2017
EMBED <>More Videos

Here are just some of the events that led to James Comey's ouster at the FBI.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KTRK) -- The long and winding road to James Comey's firing as FBI director and today's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee all began with the origin of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

What started as a small trickle of information and whispered allegations turned into a flood involving not just the former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate, but an alleged sex scandal involving embattled former Congressman Anthony Weiner and finger pointing between President Obama, Donald Trump and Russia.

Here's a look back at the events which led to Comey taking the hot seat today on Capitol Hill:

RELATED: President Trump fires James Comey as FBI director

July 24, 2015

After finding four emails containing classified information out of a random sample of 40, the State Department and Intelligence Community inspector generals made a security referral to the FBI's counterintelligence office.

September 22, 2015

The FBI acknowledged it is sorting through email messages found on Hillary Clinton's email server that was turned over to the U.S. Department of Justice in August.

November 10, 2015

The FBI said it expanded its inquiry to examine whether Clinton or her aides jeopardized national security, and who should be held responsible if they found such wrongdoing.

May 11, 2016

FBI Director James Comey said the Clinton probe was not a "security inquiry," but that the FBI was conducting an investigation. "That's what we do," he said.

June 30, 2016

ABC News reported about a meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch at a Phoenix, Arizona airport. The timing of the meeting drew scrutiny as Lynch's Department of Justice was overseeing the Clinton server investigation.

Then Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump called the meeting "not ethical."

July 1, 2016

Attorney General Lynch told ABC News it was "perfectly reasonable" to question the Bill Clinton meeting, and said she would accept "whatever recommendation career prosecutors and the F.B.I. director make about whether to bring charges related to Hillary Clinton's personal email server."

July 5, 2016

FBI Director Comey announced in a televised press conference that "no charges are appropriate in this case." He also added that Hillary Clinton and her team were "extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information."

The investigation found 110 emails that should have been regarded as classified at the time they were sent; another 2,000 emails would later be reconsidered as classified.

Trump tweeted the following: "The system is rigged...Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment."

July 7, 2016

The House Oversight Committee heard five hours of testimony from FBI Director Comey regarding the Clinton email scandal, where he said the FBI had no case to prosecute anyone.

August 16, 2016

The FBI defended its decision not to charge Hillary Clinton, but again emphasized the Democratic presidential candidate's carelessness in handling classified information on her private email server.

September 2, 2016

A trove of documents related to the Clinton email server investigation were released by the FBI.

September 28, 2016

Comey refused to reopen the Clinton email investigation before the House Judiciary Committee.

October 3, 2016

Anthony Weiner's laptop, phone and a tablet were confiscated after he was allegedly caught sending inappropriate texts to an underage girl. Law enforcement alleged they found emails forwarded to Weiner containing communications between Hillary Clinton and her aide Huma Abedin, Weiner's wife.

October 7, 2016

The Obama administration officially accused Russia of conspiracy to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election results.

October 13, 2016

Trump said Comey "let her off the hook" at a campaign event in West Palm Beach, Florida.

October 27, 2016

Comey received a briefing from FBI agents revealing what was found on Weiner's devices.

October 28, 2016

Comey informed Congress of the existence of new emails pertinent to the Clinton investigation.

Trump said, "What happened today, starting with the FBI, maybe the system will become a little less rigged. Beautiful."

October 31, 2016

Trump said Comey had restored his reputation and that the letter to Congress "took a lot of guts."

November 6, 2016

Comey announced after a thorough investigation of the Weiner devices that there would be no charges against Hillary Clinton.

November 9, 2016

Donald J. Trump is elected 45th president of the United States.

January 2017

The intelligence community briefed Trump, who is told Russia may possess compromising information about him.

January 10, 2017

Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russia's alleged attempt to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

January 18, 2017

Trump said Comey would continue his role as FBI director, winning 304 electoral college votes to Hillary Clinton's 227 electoral college votes.

February 24, 2017

The FBI told Trump it would not work to quell news reports about communications between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

March 2, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from federal investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections after it was discovered he talked with Moscow's U.S. envoy twice during the campaign.

March 5, 2017

Comey asked the Justice Department to refute a Trump tweet that claims Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 elections.

March 9, 2017

Comey refused to defend Trump's claim Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before several members of Congress.

March 20, 2017

Comey confirmed the FBI was investigating links between the Trump election campaign and the Russian government.

April 12, 2017

Trump told the Fox Business Network "it's not too late" to have Comey step down from the FBI, but that he had "confidence in him, we'll see what happens."

April 25, 2017

Rod Rosenstein confirmed by the U.S. Senate as deputy attorney general in a 94-to-6 vote.

May 2, 2017

Trump went after "phony" Comey on Twitter, changing his conciliatory tone:

May 4, 2017

Comey attended a closed-door briefing on Russia with the House Intelligence Committee.

May 9, 2017, Tuesday morning

The FBI told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Comey "misspoke" about the number of emails forwarded to Weiner between Clinton and Abedin.

Sources told ABC News's Jonathan Karl that Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein detailed the official reasons for Comey's firing in a three-page memorandum. The bottom line: the firing was recommended by Rosenstein for Comey's bungling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Oval Office Director of Operations Keith Schiller hand-delivered President Trump's termination letter to the FBI headquarters Tuesday afternoon, while Comey was on bureau travel, a White House official confirmed to ABC News.

The letter read:

Before 5 p.m., May 9, 2017

Comey's termination was read to him over the phone while he was in Los Angeles. As a result of the termination, he was not permitted to ride back to D.C. on the FBI jet.

The Senate Intelligence Committee cancelled Comey's scheduled testimony at a Thursday hearing.

Comey's deputy, Andrew McCabe, named acting FBI director.

5:30 p.m., May 9, 2017

U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein said in a statement that "Trump called me at 5:30 p.m. to indicate he would be removing Director Comey, and that the FBI needs a change."

May 19, 2017

Ten days later, the Senate Intelligence Committee's chairman Senator Richard Burr and ranking Democrat Senator Mark Warner announced Comey would testify on his role in the development of the U.S. intelligence agencies' assessment that Russia interfered in last year's election.

June 1, 2017

The committee announced Comey would testify on June 8.

June 6, 2017

When asked, President Trump said "I wish him luck" when pressed about Comey's testimony during a meeting with Republican leadership on health care and tax cuts.

June 7, 2017

In a sweeping opening statement released to ABC News, Comey details 'inappropriate' and 'very concerning' meetings with Trump, just one day before giving his testimony on Capitol Hill.

June 8, 2017

Today at 9 a.m. CST, ABC13 will broadcast a live special report from ABC News of today's testimony by former FBI director James Comey. ABC13.com and our mobile news app will also feature live streaming coverage.

Report a typo to the ABC13 staff

cretary of