WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Tuesday that when President Donald Trump informed him that Jamey Comey would be dismissed as FBI director, Schumer replied it was a “big mistake” to do so and called on the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor.
“Earlier this afternoon President Trump called me and informed me he was firing director Comey. I told the president, ‘Mr. President with all due respect you are making a big mistake.’ The first question the administration has to answer is, why now? If the administration had objections to the way director Comey handled the Clinton investigation they had those objections the minute the president got into office, but they didn’t fire him then. Why did it happen today?” Schumer said.
Schumer went on to say, “We know the house is investigating Russian interference in our elections that benefited the Trump campaign. We know the Senate is investigating. We know the FBI has been looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. A very serious offense. Were these investigations getting too close to home for the president? It is troubling that Attorney General Sessions who had recused himself from the Russian investigation played a role in firing the man leading it. So what happens now?”
“If Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein does not appoint an independent special prosecutor, every American will rightly suspect that the decision to fire Director Comey was part of a cover up,” Schumer added.
The New York Democrat called Trump’s firing of Comey a “troubling pattern” referencing his previous dismissals of former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
“This does not seem to be a coincidence. This investigation must be run as far away as possible from this White House.”
The minority leader called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “to appoint a special prosecutor… right now.”