Former United States federal prosecutor Preet Bharara said there was enough evidence to begin a case against President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice in the probe relating to Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential polls. Bharara and 45 other attorneys were sacked by the Trump administration in March this year.

“There is absolutely evidence to begin a case,” he said during an interview with ABC’s This Week. “I think it’s very important for all sorts of armchair speculators in the law to be clear that no one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction. It’s also true I think from based on what I see as a third party and out of government that there’s no basis to say there’s no obstruction.”

Bharara’s statement comes days after former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey accused Trump of pressurising him in various ways to drop the probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s alleged links with Russia.

The Barack Obama-appointee said he used to receive unusual phone calls from Trump several times. Bharara said that Trump had called him twice before the swearing-in ceremony on January 20. However, when Trump called him for the third time after becoming the president, Bharara refused to return the call. Bharara says it was after this incident that he was fired.

“The number of times that President Obama called me in seven-and-a-half years was zero.” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “The number of times I would have been expected to be called by the president of the United States would be zero because there has to be some kind of arm’s length relationship given the jurisdiction that various people had.” He said he felt some “deja vu” when Comey said he used to be contacted personally by the president as well.