Chaffetz asks Justice Department to investigate Comey firing
© Greg Nash

The chairman of the House Oversight Committee is calling for the Justice Department's inspector general to look into the circumstances surrounding President Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.

"Previously I asked Inspector General Horowitz to review the FBI’s actions in advance of the 2016 election," Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzDem demands documents from TSA after scathing security report Chaffetz replacement sworn in as House member Democrats expand House map after election victories MORE (R-Utah) said in a statement Wednesday.

"Today I sent a letter urging IG Horowitz to expand the scope of his review to include the decision to fire Director Comey. I look forward to receiving the IG’s findings."

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The inspector general is also probing the Justice Department's and the FBI's handling of their investigation into Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Pelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill MORE's use of a private email server in the months before the 2016 presidential election.

Trump abruptly fired Comey on Tuesday, citing the recommendations of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsFederal judge rules Trump defunding sanctuary cities 'unconstitutional on its face' FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Alabama election has GOP racing against the clock MORE and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein. In a letter explaining the rationale for ousting the FBI director, Rosenstein argued that Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation last year was unprofessional and made him unfit to lead the FBI.

But the decision spurred backlash among Democrats and some Republicans, who questioned the president’s timing and justification for firing Comey.

The FBI is currently investigating Trump and his associates’ potential ties with Russia, as well as the Kremlin’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, leading some lawmakers to openly question whether Comey’s termination was related to the probe.

The White House has defended Trump’s decision, saying that he has long considered getting rid of Comey and had lost confidence in his ability to lead the FBI in recent weeks. 

Updated 8:30 p.m. E.S.T.