Democrats want any Russian Federation investigation kept clear of Trump's 'heavy hand'

Rachel Smalley asks why sack James Comey now? Why not last year when it was front-page news
Rachel Smalley asks why sack James Comey now? Why not last year when it was front-page news

12 May, 2017

White House officials offered a somewhat different version Wednesday of how Trump came to fire Comey, casting his decision as one that reflected an "erosion of confidence" that had always been in the making.

But many Senate and House Democrats, including those representing MA, are asking the same question: Why fire Comey now?

James Comey is not President Donald Trump's first scalp.

The firing has prompted Democrats to amplify their calls for an independent investigation into the Russian Federation issue.

Trump, who met Russia's foreign minister at the White House on Wednesday, lashed out at critics, calling Democrats "phoney hypocrites", and defended his decision to abruptly oust Comey on Tuesday from the law enforcement post he held since 2013.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said that a special prosecutor could later be warranted but wanted the Senate intelligence committee to finish its investigation first.

Speeding up the timeline leading to his inevitable termination, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe sat in for his former boss James Comey during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday, and his testimony confirmed he's not attempting to curry favor with President Trump any more than his predecessor had.

More hearings, investigations, and even resignations are now on the cards after it transpired that the Trump White House may have manipulated and misstated the rationale for firing Comey.

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However Comey has also recently testified there is an active investigation into key members of President Trump's team over their contact with Russian Federation in the lead up to the election. Judy Woodruff learns more from Matt Apuzzo of The New York Times about reports that Comey wanted more resources to expand the Russian Federation investigation and more. One official said Trump asked Rosenstein and Sessions for their views on Comey, then asked the deputy attorney general to synthesize his thoughts in a memo.

News website Vox described it as a "historic moment" that "will bedevil the rest of the Trump presidency - and potentially, bring it to a premature close".

White House and other US officials insisted on anonymity to disclose private conversations. "Several Democratic senators have already and productively called the firing Nixonian as if you're watching something from during Watergate but you are not", Carlson said on his show.

The president's sacking of an Obama-era holdover who had openly defied him was certainly less controversial than the Comey dismissal, but it drew heavy criticism from Democrats, who said Ms Yates had done her job in standing up to the travel ban.

"There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date". On NBC's "Today", Sanders said she would defer to the president himself for any additional details.

A farewell letter from Comey that circulated among friends and colleagues said he does not plan to dwell on the decision to fire him or on "the way it was executed".

By the sacked FBI Director's own submission in a farewell letter to his colleagues, the "President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all".

"Nobody wants this to be finished and completed more than us", she said.

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