(WMC) - President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey.
In a statement, Trump says Comey's firing "will mark a new beginning" for the FBI. The White House says the search for a new FBI director will begin immediately.
Comey's firing comes days after he testified on Capitol Hill about the FBI's investigation into Russia's election meddling and possible connections between Russia and Trump's campaign.
"The president has accepted the recommendation of the Attorney General and the deputy Attorney General regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation," Sean Spicer told reporters in the briefing room on Wednesday.
Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tenn) released the following statement after Comey's firing was announced:
Congressman David Kustoff (TN-08) also released a statement regarding Comey's termination.
Other Democrats joined Cohen in insisting on an independent prosecutor to investigate possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia following FBI Director James Comey's firing.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California tweets: "I've said it before and will again - we must have a special prosecutor to oversee the FBI's Russia investigation. This cannot wait."
Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, stood on the Senate floor and said he would await word from the White House on whether the investigation will continue.
Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions says Comey was fired from his post as FBI director because the law enforcement agency needs a "fresh start."
In a letter addressed to President Donald Trump and released by the White House, Sessions says the FBI director must be someone who follows "faithfully the rules and principles" of the Justice Department. Sessions also says the individual must be someone who "sets the right example" for law enforcement officials and others in the department.
Session did not go into detail in the one-page letter dated Tuesday in which he recommended to Trump that Comey be removed as FBI director.
Comey sent a letter to Congress on Tuesday correcting his testimony on Huma Abedin's emails. Abedin was a top aide to Hillary Clinton.
The letter said Comey testified that Abedin had forwarded "hundreds and thousands" of emails to the laptop of her then-husband former Rep. Anthony Weiner.
The corrected testimony said that only a small number of emails on the laptop were a result of forwarding. The rest occurred as backup from other devices, the AP reports.
He was responsible for overseeing the FBI's investigation of the Hillary Clinton email controversy during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
His decisions during the election are regarded by many analysts to have cost Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton the election.
President Barack Obama appointed Comey to the position of FBI director in September 2013.
Before this, Comey was senior vice president for Lockheed Martin. Comey also served as the United States Deputy Attorney General from 2003 to 2005.
After J. Edgar Hoover's 48-year tenure as FBI director, the position is now a 10-year term, appointed by the president and confirmed by Senate.
The only other FBI director to be fired was William S. Sessions, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan during the Iran Contra affair, and asked by President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno to resign.