On Tuesday, Donald Trump dismissed director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, who was leading the criminal investigation into whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russian government during last year’s presidential election.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau,” Trump wrote in a letter to Comey on Tuesday.
The firing was due to Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server, although it appeared Trump benefited politically from the outcome. He once praised Comey for having the “guts” to pursue the matter.
“I cannot defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s e-mails,” Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein wrote in a letter released by the White House, “and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.”
Just after news broke of Comey’s dismissal, Democratic lawmakers demanded calls for a special prosecutor to handle the accusation of the president’s and his associate’s relationship with Russia.
“The only way the American people can have faith in this investigation is for it to be led by a fearless, independent special prosecutor,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said during a press conference Tuesday evening, “If Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein does not appoint an independent special prosecutor, every American will rightly suspect that the decision to fire Director Comey was part of a cover-up.”
Schumer took to Twitter Tuesday evening to continue sharing his beliefs in the matter.
“First Pres Trump fired Sally Yates, then Preet Bharara. Now #Comey,” he said. “Doesn’t seem like an accident. We must have a special prosecutor.”
First Pres Trump fired Sally Yates, then Preet Bharara. Now #Comey. Doesn't seem like an accident. We must have a special prosecutor.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 9, 2017
Senator Richard Blumenthal made calls for an independent investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia back in February. He claimed there’s “no doubt” that a special prosecutor should have taken over the case.
Trump, in his letter to Comey, said that he needs to find a new F.B.I. director “that restores public trust” but wishes Comey “the best of luck” in his future.
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the F.B.I. that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission,” the letter read. “I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”