Ex-FBI chief James Comey to teach ethical leadership course

Comey (above) will begin lecturing in September at the liberal arts university.
Comey (above) will begin lecturing in September at the liberal arts university.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Former FBI director James Comey, who was fired last year after refusing to pledge loyalty to President Donald Trump, was named on Friday (Jan 19) to teach a course on ethical leadership at William & Mary university.

Comey, a devotee of Protestant theologian and ethicist Reinhold Niebuhr, will begin lecturing in September at the liberal arts university in southern Virginia, where he graduated in 1982, the university said.

Trump fired Comey on May 9 after he refused to ease off on a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia in the 2016 election.

Comey revealed that Trump had personally pressured him several times over the investigation and demanded he pledge his personal loyalty.

"I need loyalty, I expect loyalty," Trump told him at a private White House dinner one week after becoming president in January 2017, according to Comey.

But the firing led to the naming of a special prosecutor, another former FBI director, Robert Mueller, who is now also probing whether Trump had tried to obstruct the Russia investigation.

Since then Trump has repeatedly called on the Justice Department to investigate Comey for his handling of the politically charged 2016 investigation into Trump's Democratic election rival Hillary Clinton.

Comey "understands to the core of his being that our leaders must have an abiding commitment to ethical behavior and sacrificial service if we are to have good government," said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley.

"Our students will benefit significantly from his experience and wisdom."

In November, Comey revealed he is also writing a book whose planned title takes a snarky dig at the president: A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, And Leadership."