The termination of FBI Director James Comey has prompted concerns and questions about the future of the agency's probe into Russian interference and "hacking", much to Putin's amusement, to sway the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign. Democrats are terrified Comey's firing on Tuesday could jeopardize the ongoing FBI probe and have renewed calls for an independent investigation. Some Republicans have said that could undermine concurrent investigations underway in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Here, according to Reuters and Bloomberg, is what could happen next:
The investigations already underway could continue. Comey's firing does not necessarily mean the FBI's investigation into Moscow's role in the 2016 election will be disrupted or end, legal experts told Reuters. The career FBI staffers Comey put in charge of the probe will likely continue it, even as the search for a new director begins.
- The parallel inquiries underway in Senate and House committees could likewise progress.
The Justice Department, other federal agencies or the U.S. Congress could conduct independent investigations.
- The Justice Department could conduct a criminal investigation. But other federal agencies and departments have the power to conduct fact-finding inquiries, according to University of Southern California law professor Sam Erman.
- Congress could also create a special commission or appoint a special master separate from the committee probes, Erman said.
The Justice Department could appoint a special counsel....