US President Donald Trump on Tuesday caused a political earthquake by unexpectedly firing FBI Director James Comey, who had been leading an investigation into the Trump 2016 presidential campaign’s possible collusion with Russia to influence the election outcome.
This immediately led to calls for a special prosecutor to be appointed to handle the investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
White House officials said Comey was fired for not prosecuting Hillary Clinton over her email scandal.
The move stunned everyone and raised suspicions that the White House was trying to influence the FBI probe involving Russia.
Some Democrats compared Trump’s move to the “Saturday Night Massacre” of 1973, in which President Richard Nixon fired an independent special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal.
White House officials denied allegations that there was any political motive in the move by Trump, who took office on Jan. 20.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he spoke to Trump and told him he was “making a very big mistake” in firing Comey, adding the president did not “really answer” in response.
An independent investigation into Moscow’s role in the election “is now the only way to go to restore the American people’s faith,” Schumer said.
Though many Democrats have criticized Comey’s handling of the Clinton email probe, they said they were troubled by the timing of Trump’s firing of him.