Trump praised Comey for conduct that W.H. cites in firing

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer responded to Comey's dismissal by calling for a special prosecutor in the investigation of ties between Donald Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

Several lawmakers questioned the timing of Comey's removal because the FBI is investigating Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, including any possible links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Warren tweeted out Tuesday "we need a real, independent prosecutor" and Trump shouldn't pick the person to conduct that investigation.

In a letter, Trump told Comey: "You are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately".

"I have said from the get-go that I think a special prosecutor is the way to go, but now with what's happened it is the only way to go", Schumer told reporters on Tuesday.

Trump faced an unavoidable and escalating conflict in deciding Comey's fate - a conflict that deepened with every presidential tweet dismissing the inquiry into Russian hacking and denigrating, explicitly or implicitly, the intelligence and law-enforcement agents who work for him. Comey's term was to run through September 2023.

November 8, 2016: Trump is elected president. Comey's deputy, Andrew McCabe, takes over in the interim. The White House said the search for a new permanent director would begin immediately.

Now Comey, seemingly the last independent person involved in the investigation, has been abruptly fired.

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Rosenstein cited several former Justice Department officials' comments criticizing Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation, including his public statements.

But one of those he cited, Donald Ayer, a former deputy attorney general under President H.W. Bush, questioned the purported reasons for the firing. Reached by Reuters, Ayer said in an email that the administration's explanation was "a sham". Comey was on a recruiting trip in Los Angeles when Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced his ouster.

"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".

October 13, 2016 - "Hillary Clinton is guilty, of all the things that Director Comey stated at his press conference and congressional hearings, and far more".

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) echoed Kaine's concern, saying that Comey's termination "demands the appointment of a special counsel".

He said in July the case should be closed without prosecution, but then declared - 11 days before November's election - that he had reopened the inquiry because of a discovery of a new trove of Clinton-related emails. A lot of them had been backed up from other devices. Some of the officials that spoke with NBC know Comey personally.

"Any suggestion that today's announcement is somehow an effort to stop the FBI's investigation of Russia's attempt to influence the election last fall is misplaced", Collins said. "This dismissal came as Comey was leading an investigation into whether individuals connected to the president coordinated with Russian Federation to impact the 2016 presidential election. To me, that's the only logical explanation right now".

Other Republicans came to Trump's defense or placed the blame for Comey's firing squarely on the shoulders of the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

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