Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Tuesday demanded “immediate emergency hearings” over President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.
“Congress needs to have immediate emergency hearings to obtain testimony directly from Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions, the deputy attorney general and FBI Director Comey,” Cummings said in a statement.
“The White House was already covering up for [former national security adviser] Michael Flynn by refusing to provide a single document to Congress, and now the President fired the one independent person who was doing the most to investigate President Trump and his  campaign over allegations of coordination with Russia.”
Cummings added that Sessions’s involvement in Comey’s ouster is “mindboggling,” noting that Sessions stated that he would recuse himself from investigations into any ties between Trump and Russia.
“There is now a crisis of confidence at the Justice Department, and President Trump is not being held accountable because House Republicans refuse to work with us to do our job,” the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee added.
The White House announced Tuesday afternoon that Trump had fired Comey following recommendations from Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s handling of classified emails.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to lead the bureau,” he wrote in a letter to Comey dated Tuesday.
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”
Trump added in a statement released by the White House that the FBI is “one of our Nation’s most cherished and respected institutions.”
“Today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” he said, noting a search for a new permanent FBI director would “begin immediately.”
Comey announced in March with the DOJ’s authorization that the bureau was probing alleged coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia in 2016.
Comey’s exit sparked outcry across Washington, with many Democrats questioning the timing of the termination.