Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Monday, firing the former FBI director in a sweeping shake-up that includes the dismissal of career prosecutors, the appointment of a special prosecutor and the hiring of an independent prosecutor.
President Trump’s move came after Comey testified that the president asked him to end the FBI’s investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former national intelligence director Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.
In his written statement, Comey said the president “directed me to end our investigation into General Flynn because I did not find enough evidence that there was anything there to justify further investigation.”
The former FBI Director, who was fired from the bureau after being under investigation by President Trump, has been critical of the president and his White House.
Trump, who often criticizes the FBI, said on Sunday that Comey had not told him that the bureau was reopening its probe into Flynn.
“I did not fire Comey for saying something that wasn’t true,” Trump said in a tweet on Sunday night.
“I had to fire him for doing his job!”
In his statement, Trump said that the FBI “must remain impartial, detached and independent,” but added that “there is no place for partisanship within the FBI.”
Comey testified on Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had told Trump in March, before he took office, that he would be terminated if he didn’t change his actions related to Flynn.
Comey said he had not known the president would fire him until after the president told him.
The president fired Comey after the Justice Department found that the former national-security adviser had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Trump had initially said Flynn had told Pence that he hadn’t discussed sanctions with Kislyak during the presidential campaign, but later changed his account and said that was the case.
Flynn resigned from the Trump campaign in February after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Pence about conversations he had with Kislyak.
The former national secret service chief has denied any wrongdoing.
Trump also fired former FBI special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading an investigation into possible ties between Russia and the Trump White House and Trump campaign associates.
Trump said Mueller had “lost all credibility” and called him a “loser” on Sunday.
Mueller was appointed by Trump to investigate possible ties to Russia during the campaign and the inauguration.
The Senate Judiciary committee will hold a hearing into the White House’s Russia investigation on Monday.
The White House released a statement saying Trump had “terminated” Comey “effective immediately.”
“We have no further comment on this matter,” the statement said.
The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey and Robert Costa contributed to this report.