Key Senate Democrat wants hearings on Comey firing
© Greg Nash

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFederal watchdog calls on Congress, Energy Dept. to overhaul nuclear waste storage process Senate advances Biden consumer bureau pick after panel logjam Republicans caught in California's recall trap MORE (D-Calif.) on Friday requested that the Judiciary Committee hold hearings on President Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey.  

“President Trump and the White House have presented an ever-changing narrative on the rationale for the firing of FBI Director Comey. This triggers a need for the Judiciary Committee to hold hearings and get to the bottom of this," Feinstein said in a statement. 
 
She said Americans "need to know whether the FBI director was fired to disrupt an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election." 
 
Feinstein, the committee's top Democrat, outlined the questions she wants discussed in the committee's public hearings, including whether Trump discussed with Comey the FBI's investigation into Russia's election interference and whether the president asked if he was the target of the investigation.
 
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Feinstein also wants the hearings to dig into whether Trump asked Comey to "pledge his loyalty," if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was asked to come up with a justification for firing Comey, and what role Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE played in the decision. 
 
Though Feinstein is the top Democrat on the committee, she would need the chairman, Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley announces reelection bid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B MORE (R-Iowa) to convene a hearing. A spokesman for the committee chairman didn't immediately respond to request for comment. 
 
Rosenstein is expected to brief the full Senate next week regarding his role in Comey's firing. Feinstein and Grassley have also requested that either Rosenstein or Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, or both, brief the Judiciary Committee. 
 
The White House initially cited a memo from Rosenstein as the basis for firing Comey. Trump, however, told NBC on Thursday that he was prepared to fire Comey regardless of what the DOJ recommended. 
 
Trump also told NBC that he asked Comey if he was under investigation and said the then-FBI director told him that he wasn't the subject of the bureau's probe. The investigation encompasses allegations of potential contact between Trump officials and Moscow. 
 
"It’s highly inappropriate for the president to ask the FBI director about an ongoing investigation. It’s even more inappropriate for the president to ask the FBI director about whether he is a target of that investigation," Feinstein said on Friday. 
 
Trump wrote in a publicly released letter that Comey told him three times that he wasn't under an investigation—a claim that has sparked skepticism throughout Washington. 
 
The president denied that he asked Comey to pledge his loyalty but added during a Fox News interview that "I don't think it would be a bad question to ask."