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Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey Over Handling of Clinton E-mail Issue
FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation" on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Image: Reuters)
Washington: In a decision that is likely to send shock waves through Washington, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday sacked FBI Director James Comey.
Comey had been leading an investigation into Trump’s presidential campaign's possible collusion with Russia to influence the poll outcome.
Comey, 56, had been the target of criticism from many quarters for his handling of a probe involving Clinton's use of a private email server while she was US Secretary of State under Barack Obama. As recently as Tuesday, the FBI clarified remarks that Comey made on the matter last week.
Trump had originally criticized the FBI director for not pursuing criminal charges against Clinton last July, but later lavished praise on him.
There were concerns in Washington that the White House was trying to blunt the FBI probe by firing Comey.
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The White House officials maintained that there was no political motive behind the Republican President’s decision.
Schumer said an independent investigation into Moscow's role in the presidential elections is the only way nor to restore tha faith of the American people.
Senator Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is overseeing its own investigation into Russian interference during the election, said in a statement he was troubled by the timing of Comey's termination.
"His dismissal, I believe, is a loss for the Bureau and the nation," Burr said.
Russia has repeatedly denied any meddling in the election and the Trump administration denies allegations of collusion with Russia.
Trump, in a letter to Comey released by the White House, said: "It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission."
Sessions advised Trump's campaign before being picked by the president to lead the Justice Department. Sessions had recused himself from involvement in the Russia investigation after he misstated his own 2016 contacts with Russia's ambassador to Washington.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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