Comey's dismissal won't stop Russian probe, says acting FBI chief

James Comey's dismissal as FBI director by Donald Trump has sparked suspicion among his opponents whether the act was a bid to stall the FBI investigation into alleged Russian meddling during the 2016 US election.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, May 11, 2017.

Updated May 12, 2017

The acting chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) told the US Congress on Thursday that President Donald Trump's shock firing of James Comey will not derail the investigation into alleged Russian meddling during last year’s US Presidential Election.

Trump dismissed the FBI director citing his handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton's emails.

But, opponents suspect his removal was a bid to stall the FBI investigation, which is also looking into possible collusion between the Kremlin and Trump's team.

"There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date," acting FBI director Andrew McCabe told the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a hearing that capped two days of high drama provoked by the dismissal.

"You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing," he said.

"All of the agents involved in the investigation are still in their positions."

Regarding the White House's claim that Comey had lost the support of the FBI’s rank and file, McCabe said: "Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does today."

"I hold director Comey in the highest regard. I have the highest respect for his abilities and his integrity," he told the committee.

Echoing a widely-held view in opposition ranks, senior democrat on the Senate committee John Warner, called the timing of Comey's dismissal "especially troubling."

"For many people, including myself, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the president's decision to remove Director Comey was related to this investigation."

McCabe gave no information on the status of the FBI probe, which dates back to July last year when the agency became aware of alleged Russian hacking of Democratic party computers and communications.

“FBI has sufficient resources for probe”

McCabe said he believed the agency has sufficient resources to carry out Russian investigation and he was not aware of any request for more resources.

"If you are referring to the Russia investigation, I do. I believe we have the adequate resources to do it and I know that we have resourced that investigation adequately," he told the lawmakers.

A congressional source said on Wednesday that Comey, days before he was fired by Trump, told lawmakers he sought more resources for the agency's Russia probe.

TRTWorld and agencies