President Trump’s decision on Tuesday to fire the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, immediately fueled calls for an independent investigator or commission to look into Russia’s efforts to disrupt the election and any connections between Mr. Trump’s associates and the Russian government. Calls to appoint an independent prosecutor have simmered for months, but until now, they had been voiced almost entirely by Democrats. Mr. Comey’s insistence that he was pressing ahead with the Russia investigation, and would go wherever the facts took him, had deflected those calls — especially because he was in such open defiance of a president who said the charges were “fake.” Mr. Comey’s firing upended the politics of the investigation, and even Republicans were joining the call for independent inquiries.
Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who is among the most hawkish members of Congress on Russia, said that he was “disappointed in the president’s decision” and that it bolstered the case “for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.”
He got support from the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, a Republican leading what appears to be the most active congressional investigation on Russia.
“I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Jim Comey’s termination,” Mr. Burr said in a statement. It “further confuses an already difficult investigation by our committee,” he said, adding that Mr. Comey had been “more forthcoming with information” than any of his predecessors.