US President Donald Trump on Tuesday generated a political storm by firing FBI chief James Comey, who led an investigation into Russia’s possible collusion with the Republican campaign to influence In the result of the elections of 2016.
Trump said she fired Comey for her management of the e-mail investigations of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton last year.
The measure surprised Washington and sowed suspicions among Democrats and others that the White House is trying to thwart the FBI’s investigation involving Moscow.
Some Democrats compared Trump’s measure to the 1973 “Saturday Night Massacre,” in which President Richard Nixon fired an independent special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal.
White House officials denied accusations that there was any political motive in the decision of Trump, who took office on January 20.
But Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he spoke with Trump and said he was “making a big mistake” by firing Comey, adding that the president did not offer him a “real answer.”
An independent inquiry into the role of Moscow in the elections “is now the only way to restore the faith of the American people,” Schumer said.
Sen. Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Commission, who oversees his own investigation into Russian interference during the election, said in a statement that he was concerned about the timing of Comey’s dismissal.
“His dismissal, I believe, is a loss to the Bureau and the nation,” Burr said.
US intelligence agencies concluded in a January report that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to interfere with the 2016 election in order to help Trump.
CNN reported Tuesday that federal prosecutors issued a grand jury summons for Trump national security ex-deputy Michael Flynn to obtain his business records as part of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the election.
Moscow has repeatedly denied any meddling in US elections and Trump’s government denies allegations of collusion with Russia.