- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In the wake of President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey, the White House is rejecting lawmakers’ calls for a special prosecutor to take over the agency’s probe of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“There is clearly at this point no evidence of a reason to do that,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters late Tuesday night. “You have a system that’s working.”

In a late-night tweet, Mr. Trump also criticized Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York, who is pushing for an independent prosecutor.

“Cryin’ Chuck Schumer stated recently, ‘I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer.’ Then acts so indignant. #draintheswamp,” the president wrote on Twitter.

After Mr. Comey’s firing Tuesday, Democrats called for a special prosecutor and some high-profile Republicans said they were “troubled” by Mr. Trump’s decision.

Mr. Spicer said deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein independently initiated a review of Mr. Comey’s job performance, and that Mr. Trump was not aware of the review until he received a memo from Mr. Rosenstein on Tuesday. It arrived at the White House with a letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions recommending that Mr. Comey be fired.

The president then notified the FBI of Mr. Comey’s firing by email and by a letter delivered to the agency in person around 5 p.m. At the time, Mr. Comey was in Los Angeles speaking with FBI personnel, and he learned of his firing via TV news coverage.

In the memo, Mr. Rosenstein faulted Mr. Comey’s handling of a probe last year into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

“I cannot defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken,” Mr. Rosenstein wrote in the memo to Mr. Sessions. “Almost everyone agrees that the director [made] serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.”

Mr. Trump is meeting at the White House Wednesday morning with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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