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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 FrankenMaher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' Why Caitlyn Jenner should not be dismissed #MeWho? The hypocritical silence of Kamala Harris MORE (D-Minn.) hit Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOne quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors Biden fills immigration court with Trump hires Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE on Tuesday for recommending that President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote READ: Liz Cheney's speech on the House floor Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' 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 ClintonSchumer: 'The big lie is spreading like a cancer' among GOP America departs Afghanistan as China arrives Young, diverse voters fueled Biden victory over Trump 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 McCainCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP Ex-McSally aide pleads guilty to stealing over 0K in campaign funds DOJ: Arizona recount could violate civil rights laws MORE (R-Ariz.) and other lawmakers.