How a former top Obama administration official may have tipped off President Trump about an impending FBI investigation
The FBI has fired the former top official at the Justice Department’s criminal division over the firing of a top FBI lawyer, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
The AP said the firing was first reported by CNN.
It was not immediately clear if the firing occurred after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
The Justice Department confirmed the firing on Saturday.
The news came as the president continued to lash out at the FBI and its agents.
“The Russia story is a total hoax.
The Trump administration on Saturday sought to distance itself from Comey’s firing, saying that “we do not have any evidence” that the former FBI director violated the Hatch Act.
Comey was in charge of the bureau’s Russia probe, which was launched by then-President Donald Trump and was ultimately taken over by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a Trump ally.
He was also the subject of an FBI investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, which the White House and congressional Republicans have called a witch hunt.
Comey’s dismissal comes as a surprise to Trump, who repeatedly and publicly accused the former director of politicizing the FBI’s Russia investigation.
He fired Comey in February 2018, amid revelations that the FBI had reopened its probe into former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s possible involvement in a money laundering scheme in Ukraine.
He also said he would resign in 2019.
Trump also said on Saturday that he planned to nominate an FBI director to replace Comey, who was fired by the president.
The Senate confirmed Richard McFeely to the post in February 2019, but the Senate did not approve a confirmation vote for a replacement until the next week.
Trump has repeatedly denied he has colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election.