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Republican Rep. Tom McClintock calls for independent prosecutor to take over FBI's Russia investigation

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) has called for an independent prosecutor to take over the FBI investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign's possible ties to it. 

His comment comes on the heels of President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.

“The timing of the firing makes it necessary to hand the investigation over to an independent prosecutor so it’s above reproach,” McClintock said.

McClintock, who made the statement in an interview on Capital Public Radio (listen below), is the second California Republican to endorse an independent prosecutor, joining Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), who did so months ago. A handful of other Republicans have also asked for an independent prosecutor or something similar. 

“I don’t think there is any evidence suggesting that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and certainly none has been produced despite enormous efforts,” McClintock said, adding that the politics of the situation were coloring public perception. He added repeatedly that a special prosecutor should be appointed to look at other topics, such as Hillary Clinton's emails and use of the IRS "to intimidate tea party leaders," which McClintock said Comey's FBI didn't investigate thoroughly enough.

McClintock also agreed with colleagues like Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), who on Wednesday said the timing of Comey's firing — shortly after he confirmed that the bureau was looking at the Trump campaign and days before he was set to testify before Congress again — raised questions.

Still, McClintock dismissed the idea that firing Comey was meant to thwart the FBI investigation into Russia’s interference in the election.

“If it was, it’s a funny way to impede the investigation, because the firing now puts Andrew McCabe in charge of the FBI, whose wife is a Democratic activist,” he said.

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, is a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for the Virginia state Senate in 2015.

Andrew McCabe, who contradicted several White House  claims about Comey’s firing during an appearance before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on Thursday, is thought to be among the potential Comey replacements, along with two Republican lawmakers and at least one law enforcement official.

Listen to Tom McClintock's interview on Capital Public Radio


12:11 p.m.: This article was updated with audio of Rep. Tom McClintock's interview and additional comments from McClintock.

10:57 a.m.: This article was updated with additional comments from McClintock and details about acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

This article was originally posted at 9:22 a.m.

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