Donald Trump has been accused of trying to shut down the ongoing investigation into possible links between him and Russia by his firing of James Comey.
The president did not mention the word Russia in his four-line letter informing the FBI Director that he was being fired. Indeed, with no small irony, Mr Trump claimed it was errors made by James Comey in relation to his investigation of Hillary Clinton that had decided he had to be replaced.
But as Washington was left reeling by Mr Trump’s actions – a move said to have no parallel since 1973 – there was a mounting sense that Mr Comey had been forced because of his role in probing the president’s alleged links to Russia.
“Hello! This letter from Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein claims that Comey has been fired for a press conference in July 2016. That’s proposterous,” said CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
“Trump quoted from that press conference. It’s not just rationale that Donald Trump fired James Comey for being mean to Hillary Clinton. It’s not just possible.”
He added “He’s heading an investigation that’s getting too close for comfort.”