The Senate Judiciary Committee is launching a wide-ranging probe into the circumstances behind the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, the media reported. The committee’s chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley, laid out his plan in a letter made public on Wednesday in response to requests from Democrats to investigate potential obstruction of justice surrounding Comey’s dismissal by President Donald Trump last month, reports Politico news. “The Judiciary Committee has an obligation to fully investigate any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations,” Grassley wrote to his Democratic counterpart, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. “It is my view that fully investigating the facts, circumstances, and rationale for Comey’s removal will provide us the opportunity to do that on a cooperative, bipartisan basis.”
In the letter, Grassley also stressed that the committee is obligated to look into the Justice Department’s handling of the probe surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail use last year, citing Comey’s testimony last week that he was concerned the department “could not credibly complete the investigation and decline prosecution without grievous damage to the American people’s confidence in the justice system”. “There should be no improper interference with Federal Bureau of Investigation probes to favour any elected official or candidate of either party,” Grassley wrote in the letter.
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“The Committee has an obligation to pursue all evidence of such misconduct.” Grassley and Feinstein met late Tuesday to discuss the Russia matter following testimony from Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Politico news reported. The Judiciary Committee has oversight of the Justice Department and the FBI.