Comey's Firing Draws Scrutiny From Both Parties

Some members of Congress aren't convinced that President Trump fired the FBI director for his handling of the Clinton email investigation.
Posted at 11:09 PM, May 09, 2017

President Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey has both Democratic and Republican members of Congress questioning Trump's motives.

"We know the FBI has been looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians — a very serious offense. Were these investigations getting too close to home for the president?" Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said.

Schumer has called for a special prosecutor to investigate potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Republican Sen. John McCain reiterated his call for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

And Republican Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he was"troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey's termination."

The White House said Trump's decision was "based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions." The recommendations cite Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation — all the way back to his July 2016 press conference — as grounds for his firing.

Schumer and others appear to doubt that Trump's decision was really about the Clinton investigation because they say Trump knew about Comey's actions before he took office and could have fired him immediately.

And other members of Congress have questioned why Sessions was even involved in the decision to fire Comey. Sessions announced in early March that he was recusing himself from any investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaigns.

And a portion of Trump's letter informing Comey of his termination has drawn scrutiny.  

He wrote, "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."

The letter appears to reference the department's potential investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, but it doesn't mention anything about Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation. 

Ranking member of the House Oversight Committee Elijah Cummings has called for emergency hearings. And he wants Sessions, Rosenstein and Comey to testify.