Watch CBSN Live

Chaffetz asks Justice Dept. watchdog to expand investigation to include Comey firing

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has asked Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz to expand the scope of its ongoing review into how the FBI handled the events surrounding the 2016 presidential election to include the firing of FBI Director James Comey

"Previously, I asked Inspector General Horowitz to review the FBI's actions in advance of the 2016 election," Chaffetz said in a statement Wednesday. "Today, I sent a letter urging IG Horowitz to expand the scope of his review to include the decision to fire Director Comey. I look forward to receiving the IG's findings."

Inspectors general are supposed to be independent watchdogs who ferret out waste, fraud and abuse in their own agencies. Horowitz is an Obama-era appointee.

White House cites Clinton investigation as cause for Comey firing

The IG in January announced it has begun reviewing allegations about certain actions the DOJ and FBI took leading up to the 2016 election -- specifically, criticism over how the DOJ handled certain aspects of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. The investigation includes a review of Comey's July news conference announcing that he would not recommend criminal charges in the investigation, and his two letters to lawmakers in late October and early November announcing additional developments in the case. 

Mr. Trump  abruptly fired Comey on Wednesday, sending Washington into chaos. Comey was set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday, as the Senate committee and the FBI investigate any Russian meddling in the election or possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein cited Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation as justification for firing him, and White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that Mr. Trump had lost confidence in Comey. 

Chaffetz, who entered Congress in 2009, recently announced he will not seek another term in 2018.

View CBS News In