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 ChaffetzGowdy won't use Oversight gavel to probe Russia The Hill's 12:30 Report Chaffetz: Trump administration 'almost worse' than Obama's on transparency 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 Rodham ClintonTrump notes 'election meddling by Russia' in tweet criticizing Obama Former Obama advisor calls Fox ‘state sanctioned media’ Biden rips Senate GOP healthcare bill, says it 'isn't about healthcare' 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 SessionsJeff SessionsSally Yates slams Sessions on criminal justice reform Preet Bharara emailed DOJ about phone call from Trump: report Sessions backs LGBT Pride Month event 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.