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Friday, May 26 News

Former FBI director well liked at bagel shop

WESTPORT — Tucked in between a chain craft store and a Chinese restaurant sits Village Bagels of Westport. A little shop in the Westport Plaza Shopping Center on the Post Road, Village Bagels is known for its sandwiches, its coffee and, unsurprisingly, its bagels.

It is less well known as a go-to breakfast spot for former FBI director James Comey.

Back when Comey lived in town and worked for the largest hedge fund in the world, he and his family were weekend regulars at the small Westport eatery.

Former FBI director James Comey’s firing last week — while he was leading an investigation into whether the Trump campaign worked with Russia to alter the presidential election’s outcome — has been dominating the headlines. But Abdul Khedira, manager of Village Bagels, knew Comey and his family as weekend regulars at the small Westport eatery.

“He came on the weekend all the time,” said Abdul Khedira, the manager of Village Bagels.

Khedira, who described Comey as “super nice,” said he was not the sort of person who came across as a “high-profile personality.”

“Super nice. I mean nobody would realize — or everybody who would come across him — would realize he’s a high-profile personality,” he added.

Comey first came to Westport in 2010 to serve as general counsel for Bridgewater Associates, which manages around $160 billion. He was nominated for FBI director by then-

President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in July 2013.

Even after getting his new gig, Comey did not abandon his breakfast joint on the Post Road. In fact, Comey was such a fan of Village Bagels, he referred a team of Secret Service agents to the place around December 2014.

“One time, (the Secret Service) came after I closed and I helped them,” Khedira said.

Comey sold his Westport house earlier this year for $2.47 million and, although it has been a while since Comey dropped by to grab a bite to eat, Khedira has been following his name in the news.

When Trump unexpectedly fired the nation’s top law enforcement official on May 9, Khedira said he believed it was because of Comey’s commitment to independence.

“I think (Comey) is very independent. Quite independent. Nobody will blackmail him,” Khedira said.

Many top legislators have taken issue with the way in which Comey was let go. Instead of having a face-to-face meeting with Comey, Trump decided to fire him while the FBI director was on a trip to Los Angeles. There has been a lot of turmoil surrounding the reasoning for Comey’s dismissal.

In the letter firing Comey, Trump said he was acting upon the recommendations of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general of the United States. But in a May 11 interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump said he fired Comey on his own volition, a statement contrary to the message of his communications team.

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Also at issue is the fact Trump fired the person heading an investigation into his own campaign’s possible collusion with Russia to affect the presidential election’s outcome. On Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor to investigate the matter.

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