Intel chair says no need for special prosecutor

The White House is seen in Washington, Tuesday night, May 9, 2017. President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2017, ousting the nation's top law enforcement official in the midst of an investigation into whether Trump's campaign had ties to Russia's election meddling. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee says there’s no need for a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign in the wake of the firing of the FBI director.

GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina says his committee has the jurisdiction and responsibility to continue its Russia investigation and “we are going to do that.”

However, Burr reiterated questions about President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. “The timing of this and the reasoning for it doesn’t make sense to me.”

And, Burr said that the firing “made our task a little more difficult but it didn’t make it impossible so we’ll continue.”

Burr said he spoke to Trump but wouldn’t detail the exchange. He said they didn’t discuss his committee’s investigation.

Vice President Mike Pence is defending the firing of FBI Director James Comey, saying the “president made the right decision at the right time.” He said Comey’s firing was not related to the investigation into possible contacts between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

Pence says the administration is now looking forward to finding someone to lead the law enforcement agency.

President Donald Trump fired Comey on Tuesday. Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, criticized Comey’s handling of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices.

Pence says Comey had lost the confidence of the American people. He says Trump took “strong and decisive leadership” to put the safety and security of the American people first.

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