House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz is asking a Department of Justice inspector general looking into the FBI's behavior during the 2016 election campaign to expand the probe to include the firing of Director James Comey.
"I request that you expand the scope of your office's ongoing review of allegations regarding certain actions by the Department of Justice and the FBI in advance of the 2016 election to include the facts and circumstances surrounding the removal of Director Comey," the Utah Republican wrote in a letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Politico reported.
Horowitz opened a probe involving the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server in January. At the time, he said it may be expanded "if circumstances warrant," Politico noted.
"You stated previously that your work includes an examination of whether Comey's public communications and notifications to Congress about the Clinton investigation comported with Justice Department and FBI policies and procedures. You separately stated 'if circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review,'" Chaffetz wrote, Politico reported.
"The recommendation to remove Comey indeed warrants such consideration."
Chaffetz's request comes as Democrats are accusing President Donald Trump of firing Comey to thwart the FBI's ongoing probe into allegations of collusion between the president's campaign and transition team and Russian officials.
The Trump administration cited Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation in its official decision to fire him.
But most Democrats – and some Republicans, including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting a similar probe — are skeptical.
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