WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) – FBI Director James Comey has been fired by President Donald Trump.
In a statement, President Trump said, “The FBI is one of our Nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement.”
President Trump says he fired Comey because of his handling of the Clinton e-mail investigation. The White House says the President acted on the advice of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General.
In a letter, President Trump told Comey, “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur
with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the FBI corrected the sworn testimony of Comey, who last week told Congress that a top aide to Hillary Clinton had sent “hundreds and thousands” of emails to her husband’s laptop, including some with classified information.
In fact, the FBI said in a two-page letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, only “a small number” of the thousands of emails found on the laptop had been forwarded there while most had simply been backed up from electronic devices. Most of the email chains on the laptop containing classified information were not the result of forwarding, the FBI said.
The White House says the search for a new FBI Director will begin immediately.
Massachusetts lawmakers say the firing raised serious concerns.
U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey are calling for the appointment of an independent prosecutor to investigate possible ties between President Donald Trump and Russia following Trump’s decision to fire Comey.
“President Trump’s firing of Director Comey sets a deeply alarming precedent as multiple investigations into possible Trump campaign or administration collusion with Russia remain ongoing, including an FBI investigation,” Sen. Markey said.
“This episode is disturbingly reminiscent of the Saturday Night Massacre during the Watergate scandal and the national turmoil that it caused. We are careening ever closer to a Constitutional crisis, and this development only underscores why we must appoint a special prosecutor to fully investigate any dealings the Trump campaign or administration had with Russia.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted, “It’s time for Congress to get their heads out of the sand. @realDonaldTrump cannot pick the person to continue this critical investigation.”
Warren continued, “We need a real, independent prosecutor who @realDonaldTrump can’t fire, Sessions can’t intimidate, & Congress can’t muzzle. We need it now.”
Rep. Michael Capuano said, “I’m no fan of FBI Comey, but firing him in midst of Russia probe raises very serious concerns. Remember result of Nixon-Cox.”
Rep. Seth Moulton said, “The President’s firing of Director Comey is a smoke signal. And where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And this is a bonfire.”
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