Senate Judiciary Committee To Probe Firing Of Ex-FBI Director James Comey

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, joined at left by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, opens a confirmation hearing for
federal prosecutor Rod Rosenstein to be deputy attorney and Rachel Brand to be associate attorney general, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced on Wednesday that his committee will investigate the circumstances surrounding the firing of James Comey as FBI director and whether there have been any “partisan” attempts to interfere with FBI probes.

Grassley announced the decision in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the committee’s ranking member, after she requested that the committee investigate those matters.

“You and I agree that the American people deserve a full accounting of attempts to meddle in both our democratic processes and the impartial administration of justice. The Judiciary Committee has an obligation to fully investigate any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations. It is my view that fully investigating the facts, circumstances, and rationale for Mr. Comey’s removal will provide us the opportunity to do that on a cooperative, bipartisan basis,” Grassley wrote in the letter to Feinstein.

Grassley said that the committee will also look at former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server as part of the probe, another issue that Feinstein had said should be investigated. Grassley said that the committee should look at Lynch’s actions as part of the probe into Comey’s firing since the former FBI director discussed her handling of the email probe in his testimony last week. He also noted that the Trump administration noted Comey’s handling of the email probe in its initial explanation for Comey’s firing.

“The Administration has referenced both Mr. Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation and Russia investigation as factors in his decision to fire Mr. Comey,” Grassley wrote.

Read Grassley’s letter: