FBI chief aimed to expand Russia probe before Trump fired him

Alvin Kelly
May 11, 2017

The Republican president, who met Russia's foreign minister at the White House on Wednesday, defended his decision to abruptly fire Comey from a law-enforcement post he had held since 2013.

Senate Democrats made a decision to slow down business in the upper chamber to protest the Trump administration's rejection of an independent prosecutor for the Russian Federation investigation.

The Democrats expressed deep scepticism about the stated reasons for Tuesday's firing, raising the prospect of a White House effort to frustrate the investigations by the FBI and congressional panels.

Trump on Wednesday told reporters he fired Comey "because he wasn't doing a good job".

Comey's dismissal comes as the FBI was investigating whether Trump's advisers were connected with any Russian attempts previous year to influence the election. As Sanders noted in her interview defending the firing, many Democrats blamed for her loss to Trump in the November election. "It is now up to the president to appoint, and the Senate to confirm, a successor who has unimpeachable credentials and integrity and who enjoys the confidence of the American people".

Andrew McCabe, who served as deputy director under Mr. Comey and is now serving as acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director, was interviewed Tuesday by Messrs.

Pence said Comey's firing was unrelated to the Russian Federation probe.

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The move by Trump provoked backlash from several lawmakers, who questioned the timing of Comey's removal as the FBI is investigating Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election.

At one point in a series of tweets, Trump said his dismissal of Comey - who came under withering criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation - would be validated after "things calm down".

Such possible collusion is "the whole underlying premise of the investigation", a House Democratic source involved in the investigation said.

United States intelligence agencies concluded in a January report that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered an effort to disrupt the 2016 election that included hacking into Democratic Party emails and leaking them, with the aim of helping Trump.

The Trump administration attributed Comey's dismissal to his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server, but Democrats raised parallels to Watergate and suggested Comey was getting too close to the White House with the Russian Federation probe.

Blumenthal was one of those quick to speak out, calling for an independent special prosecutor on the investigation into White House ties to Russian Federation, and comparing the situation to Watergate.

"We know that the FBI investigation was beginning to pick up steam". Lavrov said. "You're kidding!".

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