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Franken rips Sessions for encouraging Comey firing

Franken rips Sessions for encouraging Comey firing
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Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenShould the Rob Porter outcome set the standard? Grassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees Sen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats MORE (D-Minn.) hit Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsUnder pressure, Trump shifts blame for Russia intrusion Overnight Tech: Judge blocks AT&T request for DOJ communications | Facebook VP apologizes for tweets about Mueller probe | Tech wants Treasury to fight EU tax proposal Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand MORE on Tuesday for recommending that President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE fire FBI Director James Comey, calling it a "complete betrayal" of his vow to recuse himself from investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“I am also deeply troubled by the fact that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who pledged to recuse himself from the Russia investigation because of his own Russia connections, involved himself in Director Comey’s firing,” Franken said in a statement. “This is a complete betrayal of his commitment to the public that he wouldn’t be involved in the investigation.”

Sessions in March recused himself from any investigations into Russia’s election interference following reports that he was in contact with Moscow’s U.S. envoy during the campaign.

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Trump on Tuesday said he fired Comey following the recommendations of Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, citing concerns about Comey’s judgment over the bureau's investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE’s use of a private email server.

However, Franken and other lawmakers suggested the firing was not related to Clinton's emails, but the FBI's probe into Russia's interference in the election.

“It is deeply troubling that President Trump just fired the person in charge of investigating his ties to Russia, and the President’s stated reasons for firing Director Comey are difficult to believe,” Franken said.  “We know that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election, that they did so to undermine confidence in American democracy and that they wanted Donald Trump to become President. The intelligence community has confirmed that.”

Franken said the White House has called its objectivity into question and advocated for an independent body to lead the Russia investigation.

He also called for an independent investigation, echoing Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE (R-Ariz.) and other lawmakers.