Kendall Coffey: What Happens Next with Comey

Kendall Coffey, one of the country’s top litigators presently working as a partner at Coffey Burlington in Miami, Florida, appeared on Fox News’ Fox & Friend to discuss the recent firing of FBI Director James Comey. For more from Mr. Coffey, follow him on Twitter.

Abby Huntsman: Welcome back. FBI Director James Comey fired, and to no one’s surprise, the left immediately attacking the president.

Jeffrey Toobin: This is the kind of thing that goes on in non-democracies.

Chuck Schumer: I told the President, Mr. President, with all due respect, you are making a big mistake.

AH: So what happens next? Here to weigh in is Kendall Coffey. He is a former U.S. attorney, under President Bill Clinton. Thank you so much for being with us this morning.

Kendall Coffey: Thanks for including me.

AH: So you’re an important voice to talk to, as this is all breaking, and there are so many important questions still left to answer.  But the biggest one is, what happens next, and how hard is it going to be to find that perfect replacement for him?

Kendal Coffey thought that Comey was perfect choice

KC: Well, they thought Comey was the perfect choice in the first place, so I think there’re going to be that much more careful this time. But the profile that you need at this point is someone with solid law enforcement credentials, obviously bi-partisan support to an extent, and some demonstrated independence. I think that person exists, and the most important thing about all of this, despite the present commotion, is getting somebody who the public respects and who will restore all credibility to the FBI.

Martha McCallum: Well as for now, it’s Andrew McCabe, Deputy Director. He’s going to be filling in for a short time. Can you tell us a little more about him? He’s going to be next in line for a couple of days, so to speak.

KC: Yeah, he’s a career guy, been there more than 20 years. A little bit of a controversy because his wife had been a Democratic legislative candidate a couple of years ago. But the important thing to remember is that this has never been the James Comey investigation, and it’s not now the Andrew McCabe investigation. This is an investigation by career FBI agents, their supervisors, prosecutors—including, by the way, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, who launched some subpoenas recently in the matter, and he was an Obama appointee. So there’s a lot of reason to trust this process going forward, but I think McCabe is going to get some extra looks because of his connection with the Democratic Party.

AH: Well, you mentioned Democratic Party, Kendall. A lot of politics always involved with something like this. Democrats, though, they are telling Trump he should not have fired James Comey. But they were the ones calling foul for how [it took] long up this point, saying he should be out.

KC: Yeah, the criticism of Comey in late October was blistering. You might recall that then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid wanted him investigated for violating the Hatch Act. So unmistakably, while this is a dedicated public servant–James Comey is certainly an outstanding prosecutor–there are highly irregular, unprecedented mistakes that were made in his case. And his recent testimony indicated if he had to do it all over again, he would essentially repeat those mistakes. So I think this is an occasion to give the FBI a fresh start. I think all eyes should be on who the new FBI Director is going to be. In the mean time, the public can be confident that career professionals are conducting this investigation.

MC: You know, a lot of people are talking about the timing. What do you think of this timing, with the alleged ties to Russia and Trump, and now that he is out, do they need to get an independent council in, and how is this going to work?

KC: Well, there is no good time to fire an FBI director. They’re always in the midst of very important and often politically sensitive investigations. If the President, the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General lost confidence in Mr. Comey, frankly they shouldn’t wait for months or weeks to make a decision. I’m not a big believer in a special prosecutor in this case, I don’t think there is a demonstrated necessity, that career professionals can handle it. And by the way, if Congress loved special independent council so much, why did they allow that law, that position, to disappear in 1999? The reality is, the DOJ can handle this.

AH: All right, Kendall Coffey, good to have you here for your perspective. I think you’re exactly right: a new, fresh start for the FBI is much needed.  Thank you, Kendall.

KC: Thank you.

For the full video of Kendall Coffey’s perspective on Mr. Comey’s firing, visit