Comey firing: Reaction from members of Congress on FBI director’s dismissal – Washington Post

President Trump fired James B. Comey as the director of the FBI. The decision came as Comey was leading a counterintelligence investigation into potential Russian interference in the 2016 election. Officials said it resulted from a conclusion by Justice Department officials that he had mishandled a probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Here is reaction from members of Congress:

FROM THE SENATE

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)

“The President’s firing of the FBI Director comes at a time when the agency is actively investigating whether members of President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election. This law enforcement investigation must continue.

“Russia attacked our democracy and the American people deserve answers. President Trump’s decision to make this move tonight is an attack on the rule of law and raises more questions that demand answers. Firing the FBI Director does not place the White House, the President, or his campaign above the law.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee must continue their bipartisan investigation because Congress has a responsibility to get to the bottom of this in a transparent way. We also need a special prosecutor to lead a comprehensive and independent investigation that follows all the facts wherever they lead.”

Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

On CNN: “It is an abuse of power if the FBI was in fact investigating the president of the United States. For the president to fire someone who has him under active investigation is in my view an abuse of power.”

“If there was every any doubt about the need for a special independent prosecutor, which I’ve been advocating for months, there is no question now.”

“Only a special prosecutor can hold accountable anyone who colluded with the Russians … and the president himself has to be deemed a potential target. If not right at this moment then a potential target in the future because his associates in that campaign are targets right now.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

“Director Comey has served the country well in a number of different roles. Many, including myself, have questioned his actions more than once over the past year. I believe new leadership at the FBI will restore confidence in the organization and among the people who do the hard work to carry out its mission.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.)

“I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination. I have found Director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order, and his dismissal further confuses an already difficult investigation by the Committee. In my interactions with the Director and with the Bureau under his leadership, he and the FBI have always been straightforward with our Committee. Director Comey has been more forthcoming with information than any FBI Director I can recall in my tenure on the congressional intelligence committees. His dismissal, I believe, is a loss for the Bureau and the nation.”

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.)

“There is little President Trump does anymore that surprises me, but that he would fire the lead investigator into collusion between Russia and Trump campaign officials is beyond the pale – even for him. This is the biggest evidence to date of why we need an independent commission to investigate Russia’s interference in our election. We also need a special prosecutor to complete the ongoing criminal probe, now that the president has undermined the integrity of the FBI’s investigation.

“There is no doubt that President Trump is threatened by the investigations of Russia’s ties to his campaign. His actions reinforce the need for a nonpartisan commission to work full-time on behalf of the American people to figure out who did what, when and why. The American people are entitled to answers.”

Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.)

“I am shocked by President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, and I am deeply concerned about what it means for the ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in our last presidential election.

“President Trump’s decision today raises more questions than it answers. What changed since the president took office for him to lose confidence in Director Comey’s ability to do the job? Why did Attorney General Sessions, who has recused himself from the investigation into Russia’s interference into the presidential election, recommend Director Comey be fired or have any role in that decision?

“Now more than ever, it should be clear we must appoint a special counsel to finish the job in order to ensure that any findings about Russia’s influence in the last election are not clouded by partisan controversy. In addition, as we move forward with a new FBI Director, Democrats and Republicans must come together to ensure that he or she is beyond reproach, eminently qualified and totally independent in thought and deed.”

Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.)

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)

“The Justice Department was really understaffed for a long time, it took a while for the attorney general to be confirmed and his deputy was just confirmed I believe a week or so ago, and it’s the deputy who is a career prosecutor who had been designated to do the analysis so the FBI director’s actions and came up with the recommendation.

“The president did not fire the entire FBI. He fired the director of the FBI. And any suggestion that this is somehow going to stop the FBI’s investigation of the attempts by the Russians to influence the elections last fall is really patently absurd. This is just one person, it’s the director, the investigation is going forward both at the FBI and in the Senate Intel Committee in a bipartisan way. SO I don’t think there’s any link at all.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

“While the case for removal of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey laid out by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein was thorough, his removal at this particular time will raise questions. It is essential that ongoing investigations are fulsome and free of political interference until their completion, and it is imperative that President Trump nominate a well-respected and qualified individual to lead the bureau at this critical time.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.)

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-ill.)

“The President’s actions transcend any one individual and raise significant concerns over the basic rule of law, especially if they are intended to dissuade criminal investigators from digging too deep into Trump Administration officials and associates – or even the President himself. If any doubts remained about the need for a transparent, impartial and independent investigation into the Trump Administration, the firing of Director Comey surely eliminates them.

It is not clear why Attorney General Sessions, who previously claimed he would recuse himself from all Russia-related matters, was involved in firing the law enforcement official leading the Russia investigation. There are simply too many questions raised by tonight’s actions, and the American people deserve nothing less than answers from an independent investigator.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

“President Trump called me at 5:30 p.m. and indicated he would be removing Director Comey, saying the FBI needed a change. The next FBI director must be strong and independent and will receive a fair hearing in the Judiciary Committee.”

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)

“It is deeply troubling that President Trump just fired the person in charge of investigating his ties to Russia, and the President’s stated reasons for firing Director Comey are difficult to believe.
“We know that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election, that they did so to undermine confidence in American democracy, and that they wanted Donald Trump to become President. The intelligence community has confirmed that.
“I am also deeply troubled by the fact that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who pledged to recuse himself from the Russia investigation because of his own Russia connections, involved himself in Director Comey’s firing. This is a complete betrayal of his commitment to the public that he wouldn’t be involved in the investigation.
“We cannot trust an investigation led by this administration. And it’s now clearer than ever that we need an independent investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillbrand (D-N.Y.)

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.)

“I know this was a difficult decision for all concerned.

“I appreciate Director Comey’s service to our nation in a variety of roles.

“Given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well. I encourage the President to select the most qualified professional available who will serve our nation’s interests.”

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee

“Over the course of the last several months, Director Comey’s decisions on controversial matters have prompted concern from across the political spectrum and from career law enforcement experts.

“The handling of the Clinton email investigation is a clear example of how Comey’s decisions have called into question the trust and political independence of the FBI. In my efforts to get answers, the FBI, under Comey’s leadership, has been slow or failed to provide information that Comey himself pledged to provide.
“The effectiveness of the FBI depends upon the public trust and confidence. Unfortunately, this has clearly been lost.

“The FBI Director serves at the pleasure of the president. Under these circumstances, President Trump accepted the recommendation of the Justice Department that the Director lacked the confidence needed to carry out his important duties.”

Sen. Margaret Wood Hassan (D-N.H.)

“President Trump’s abrupt decision to fire FBI Director Comey raises many serious questions. The American people deserve a full accounting of the process that went into this decision and deserve to know whether the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election had any influence on the President’s action. This episode reinforces the need for both a special prosecutor as well as a thorough Congressional investigation to get to the bottom of Russia’s interference and any connection to President Trump’s campaign in order to ensure complete confidence in our democratic institutions.

“It is essential that the next FBI director be able to demonstrate true independence from the political influence of this Administration and commit to following the facts of any ongoing or future investigations, no matter where they lead.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)

“The President’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey in this manner, under this pretext, and at this time is a total disservice to the American people.
“The country is asking, Mr. President, what do you have to hide?

“There is no question that President Trump wants the investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential election, and the Trump team’s ties to those efforts, to just go away.

“Knowing this, it is hard to interpret the decision to fire Director Comey as being motivated by anything other than a desire to shut down or derail the FBI’s investigation. In fact, it only raises further suspicions about the Trump team’s ties to Russian interference in our election.

“For months, I have called for a special prosecutor and an independent investigation into this serious matter. We need a special prosecutor who will conduct an impartial, thorough investigation untainted by political considerations.”

Sen.Tim Kaine (D-Va.)

“It’s outrageous to see a sitting President fire the FBI director during an active investigation into potential collusion with a foreign government. The decision to fire James Comey shows how frightened the Administration is over the Russia investigation. The White House decision to seek Attorney General Sessions’ recommendation also raises questions about whether he has fully recused himself from the Russia investigation. This adds to a disturbing pattern by the White House to cover up the truth, which draws inescapable comparisons to the Nixon era. A special prosecutor that is completely independent and whose mandate is not directed by the Attorney General is needed to get to the bottom of whether the Trump campaign, transition team, or Administration colluded with the Russian government.”

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)

“Based on what I know, it appears to me that the firing of the FBI Director was a solution in search of a rationale. To dismiss Director Comey based on actions he took last year, when the President has been in office for more than five months, just doesn’t add up and raises more questions than it answers.

“Furthermore, his dismissal is especially troubling given that there is an ongoing FBI investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign. His firing undermines confidence in the credibility of that process, and to restore it – both for me and for the American people – I believe it is not only appropriate, but urgently necessary to appoint a Special Counsel to carry forward the investigation. Meanwhile, I expect the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation to continue to proceed in a nonpartisan manner and follow the facts wherever they lead.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)

“The dismissal of the FBI Director raises serious questions, especially as Trump campaign officials are under investigation by the FBI. The American people deserve the facts and to know that decisions made by the Department of Justice are based on those facts, no matter who and no matter what they might lead to. This is clear: We need an independent commission and a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of Russian interference in our election.”

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

“James Comey had an incredibly difficult job in his role as FBI Director and I am grateful for his service. The issues that our law enforcement, intelligence community, and congressional committees deal with each day are very sensitive and have life or death implications. Director Comey has been the public face representing thousands of committed law enforcement officers and civil servants within the intelligence community. In the days ahead, the American people need clarity and deserve an explanation for his immediate firing. It is unfortunate that over the past year the Director had lost the trust of so many people on both sides of the aisle. It is now important that the Senate confirm the next FBI Director with a thorough and fair process.”

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.)

The President’s action, and the way it has been handled, is shocking. No one should accept President Trump’s absurd justification that he is now concerned that FBI Director Comey treated Secretary Clinton unfairly. The President in fact celebrated the Director’s mistakes in that investigation. That fig leaf explanation seeks to cover the undeniable truth: The President has removed the sitting FBI Director in the midst of one of the most critical national security investigations in the history of our country — one that implicates senior officials in the Trump campaign and administration. This is nothing less than Nixonian.

Given that the Attorney General supposedly recused himself from the Russia investigation, he should not have played any role in removing the lead investigator from his duties. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein now has no choice but to appoint a Special Counsel. His integrity, and the integrity of the entire Justice Department, are at stake.

The President’s letter, in which he refers to Russian interference and possible collusion with the President’s associates, is bizarre and raises troubling questions about the President’s motivations.

There simply is no avoiding the compelling fact that this cascading situation demands the prompt appointment of an independent Special Counsel to pick up the pieces of these investigations.

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.)

Manchin said the firing would “not impede the committee’s investigation” into Russia and the election. He wanted to know more about why the firing took place, but brushed off a question about whether the president had abused his power.

“I can’t say whether it was right or wrong, but it’s very shocking,” Manchin said of Comey’s firing. “He got involved a political campaign. There’s a lot of blame and there were a lot of high emotions.”

Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.)

“President Trump’s firing of Director Comey sets a deeply alarming precedent as multiple investigations into possible Trump campaign or administration collusion with Russia remain ongoing, including an FBI investigation. This episode is disturbingly reminiscent of the Saturday Night Massacre during the Watergate scandal and the national turmoil that it caused. We are careening ever closer to a Constitutional crisis, and this development only underscores why we must appoint a special prosecutor to fully investigate any dealings the Trump campaign or administration had with Russia.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

“While the President has the legal authority to remove the Director of the FBI, I am disappointed in the President’s decision to remove James Comey from office. James Comey is a man of honor and integrity, and he has led the FBI well in extraordinary circumstances. I have long called for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The president’s decision to remove the FBI Director only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

“Once the Senate receives a nomination, we look forward to a full, fair, and timely confirmation process to fill the Director position. This is a critical role that is especially important as America faces serious threats at home and abroad.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

“Now it is more clear than ever that we need an independent commission to get to the truth of Russia’s interference with our election.”

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.)

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)

“President Trump’s firing of Director Comey in the midst of an active criminal investigation of his inner circle is shocking and disturbing. This action could paralyze the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russian officials, and the Trump Organization’s potential ties to Russian interests.

“The explanation from the White House is highly implausible and the timing and circumstances surrounding this decision raise serious questions about the President’s motives. President Trump knew about the supposed grounds for Director Comey’s termination when he invited Director Comey to join the Administration, and the explanations coming from the Justice Department now just don’t add up.

“The only way we can resolve this situation now is with a special prosecutor. The investigation must be overseen by someone the President cannot fire at will.

“The Trump Administration has demonstrated a pattern of ignoring precedent and moving forward in a way that is most beneficial to their political self-interest. It is worth noting that many officials involved in this investigation have either been removed from their posts or have been forced to recuse themselves due to personal involvement. This process needs to be moved out of the political realm and into the hands of an independent special prosecutor.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

“Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey raises serious questions about what his administration is hiding. Why did President Trump fire the person leading the investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and the Russian government? I find it deeply troubling that this decision comes a day after damning testimony by former acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign and just days before Comey was scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“President Trump has repeatedly taken steps to kill inquiries into Russia’s involvement in the U.S. election. It is clear that whomever President Trump handpicks to lead the FBI will not be able to objectively carry out this investigation. We need an independent investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.)

“Regardless of how you think Director Comey handled the unprecedented complexities of the 2016 election cycle, the timing of this firing is very troubling. Jim Comey is an honorable public servant, and in the midst of a crisis of public trust that goes well beyond who you voted for in the presidential election, the loss of an honorable public servant is a loss for the nation. As the chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee, I have reached out to the Deputy Attorney General for clarity on his rationale for recommending this action.”

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)

“I told the president, Mr President, with all due respect, you’re making a big mistake,” he said at a press conference. “The first question the administration has to answer is: Why now?”

“We know the FBI has been looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. Were these investigations getting too close to home for the president?

“Mr. Rosenstein, America depends on you to restore faith in our criminal justice system, which is going to be badly shattered after the administration’s actions.

“They fired Sally Yates. They fired Preet Bhahra. And they fired James Comey, the very man leading he investigation. This does not seem to be a coincidence.

“Any person that he appoints will be concerned that he will meet the same fate as Director Comey.

“The American people need to have faith that an investigation as serious as this one is being led impartially.

“If Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein does not appoint an independent prosecutor, every American will rightly suspect that the decision to fire Director Comey was part of a cover-up.”

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)

“President Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey is very disturbing and opens a Pandora’s box of additional questions regarding the ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. This unprecedented interference by the President of the United States in an ongoing criminal investigation leaves no doubt that the only way to uncover the truth about Russian interference in our election is with an independent investigation. It’s well past time for Republicans in Congress to put country above party and support the appointment of an independent counsel. The American public has a right to know to what end Russia interfered in our election. Now more than ever, there should be a bipartisan agreement to get to the bottom of this.”

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)

“No one is above being held accountable, not even the President of the United States. The FBI has a long history of playing a critical role in investigating matters of national security. I am deeply concerned that this decision will result in an abandonment of the FBI’s ongoing efforts and it underscores the urgent need for an independent investigation.”

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.)

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

“Firing FBI Director Comey has the foul stench of an attempt to stop an ongoing investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. We know that the Russians interfered in our election. We know that every intelligence agency concluded that Russia interfered on behalf of Donald Trump. And we know that Director Comey was investigating potential collusion between Donald Trump’s associates and Russia. While I’ve long had concerns about Director Comey, it’s shocking that the Justice Department and the White House would blatantly interfere in an ongoing and very active investigation by firing him. Congress must continue its work to investigate possible collusion, but the timing of Director Comey’s firing requires that the Justice Department immediately appoint a special prosecutor in order to reinstall confidence in our justice system and in our intelligence agencies.”

Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.)

“The President’s actions today are shocking. It is deeply troubling that the President has fired the FBI director during an active counterintelligence investigation into improper contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“The administration insists there’s no ‘there there,’ yet President Trump has so far fired the acting Attorney General, nearly every U.S. attorney, and now the Director of the FBI. In addition, this President’s choice for Attorney General has been forced to recuse himself, and the National Security Advisor has resigned, as a result of undisclosed contacts with Russian officials.

“Now more than ever, it is vital that our ongoing investigation is completed in a credible and bipartisan way. We also need to hear directly from former Director Comey about the FBI investigation and related events.

“The President’s actions today make it clear to me that a Special Counsel also must be appointed. That’s the only way the American people will be able to trust the results of any DOJ investigation. The only way this Administration can begin to demonstrate a commitment to the rule of law, which has so far been sorely lacking, is to cooperate fully with the ongoing congressional investigations and to support the appointment of an independent special counsel.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)

“While the White House is under investigation by the FBI, firing the head of the FBI raises massive questions, and the Senate should get to the bottom of it. America needs to have confidence that the Department of Justice will fill its traditional role of following the facts fearlessly, and prosecuting whomever has violated the law no matter the office they hold.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

“I have been long been a critic of Director Comey, for his views about surveillance and torture, his stance on secret law and his conduct during the investigation into Secretary Clinton. But Donald Trump’s decision to fire him now, in the midst of an investigation into Trump associates and their ties to Russia, is outrageous. Director Comey should be immediately called to testify in an open hearing about the status of the investigation into Russia and Trump associates at the time he was fired.

“There can be no question that a fully independent special counsel must be appointed to lead this investigation. At this point, no one in Trump’s chain of command can be trusted to carry out an impartial investigation.

“The president would do well to remember that in America, the truth always comes out.”

FROM THE HOUSE

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.)

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.)

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.)

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.)

“Today’s action by President Trump completely obliterates any semblance of an independent investigation into Russian efforts to influence our election, and places our nation on the verge of a constitutional crisis. There is little doubt that the President’s actions harken our nation back to Watergate and the “Saturday Night Massacre.” This decision makes it clear that we must have an independent, non-partisan commission to investigate both Russian interference in the U.S. election and allegations of collusion between the government of Vladimir Putin and the Trump campaign. Today’s actions reek of a cover up and appear to be part of an ongoing effort by the Trump White House to impede the investigation into Russian ties and interference in our elections.

“I am particularly concerned that President Trump fired Director Comey based in part on the recommendation of Attorney General Sessions–who was forced to recuse himself from the underlying investigation based on his own actions and misconduct. This shocking decision by the President is beyond the pale and itself warrants independent inquiry and hearings, and reinforces the need for the Attorney General himself to step down given his own obvious and ongoing conflicts.

“Though we may not have always agreed with James Comey, he was critical to overseeing the ongoing investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election. The Administration’s after-the-fact efforts to rationalize this blatantly self-serving political firing–by complaining about the manner Director Comey handled the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails—is too cute by half and does not even pass the smell test.”

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.)

“Congress needs to have immediate emergency hearings to obtain testimony directly from Attorney General Sessions, the deputy attorney general, and FBI Director Comey. The White House was already covering up for Michael Flynn by refusing to provide a single document to Congress, and now the President fired the one independent person who was doing the most to investigate President Trump and his campaign over allegations of coordination with Russia. It is mindboggling that the Attorney General — who claimed to have recused himself — was directly involved in the decision to fire Director Comey according to the White House itself. There is now a crisis of confidence at the Justice Department, and President Trump is not being held accountable because House Republicans refuse to work with us to do our job. Congress must restore credibility, accountability, and transparency to this investigation and finally pass legislation to create a truly independent commission.”

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.)

“Today’s extraordinary decision raises many questions all of which must be answered. Congress and the American people need a transparent explanation as to how this decision was reached and why it was executed at this time. It is critical that the FBI can continue all of its pending work with independence and integrity – especially the investigation into the Russian government’s efforts to influence our last election and undermine American democracy. Today I reiterate the need for Congress to establish a Select Committee with full investigatory powers to thoroughly examine this matter.”

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.)

Rep. Suzan DeLBene (D-Wash.)

Rep. Theodore Deutch (D-Fla.)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.)

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)

“The FBI is the premier law enforcement agency in the world and it is critical to have a director who holds the trust of the American people. It is clearly the President’s prerogative to remove the FBI Director, as was recommended by the top two officials at the Department of Justice.

“I would like to thank Director Comey for his many years of faithful service, and I look forward to working closely with the White House to identify a suitable successor as quickly as possible.”

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.)

“Director Comey had a very difficult job. I appreciate his service to our country as both a federal prosecutor and the head of the FBI. I had my differences with him on some matters but never lost sight of the fact that he had a very difficult job and undoubtedly had access to facts that perhaps the rest of us did not. I am thankful for his service to our country and am hopeful our President will select an independent minded person to serve as the head of our nation’s premier law enforcement agency. Our justice system is the foundation of our republic. It must be both respected and fully worthy of our respect.”

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.)

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-Ill.)

Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-Fla.)

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.)

Rep. William R. Keating (D-Mass.)

Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.)

“Today’s rash decision by President Trump to fire FBI Director James Comey is a grotesque abuse of power. I am unaware of any justifiable reason that would show just cause for the firing of the FBI Director. I call on congressional leadership to schedule hearings so we can get to the bottom of this. I hope and pray this had nothing to do with the FBI’s independent investigation into Russian interference and possible collusion of Trump associates with Russia during the 2016 election.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.)

Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.)

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)

“I find Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey to be deeply shocking. As a former prosecutor, I believe his action suggests consciousness of guilt and is similar to what former President Richard Nixon did when faced with investigations against his own associates.”

“Under the leadership of Director Comey, the FBI Counterintelligence Division is currently investigating associates of Donald Trump and perhaps Trump himself. The FBI may also be investigating Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The recommendation by Attorney General Sessions to fire Comey and the President’s action of firing Comey suggest evidence of a massive cover up.”

“In addition, Attorney General Sessions violated his own recusal terms by taking part in removing the head of the FBI who was leading a counterintelligence investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

“I again call for a Special Prosecutor to investigate this grave matter. I also call for the House Judiciary Committee to subpoena Attorney General Sessions and FBI Director Comey to testify in an open hearing as soon as possible.”

Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.)

Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.)

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.)

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.)

Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine)

Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.)

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.)

“The decision by a President whose campaign associates are under investigation by the FBI for collusion with Russia to fire the man overseeing that investigation, upon the recommendation of an Attorney General who has recused himself from that investigation, raises profound questions about whether the White House is brazenly interfering in a criminal matter. While I had deep reservations with the way Director Comey handled the investigation into the Clinton emails which I made clear at the time and since, to take this action without addressing the profound conflict of interest of the President and Attorney General harkens back to a similarly tainted decision by President Nixon.

“The same President who has called the investigation into the Russian hacking of our democracy and the potential complicity of his campaign a ‘fake,’ cannot pretend to have made such a decision uninfluenced by his concerns over Comey’s continued involvement in the investigation. It is more imperative than ever that an independent prosecutor be appointed to restore a modicum of public confidence – now completely lacking – that the criminal investigation will continue without further interference by the White House.”

Rep. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.)

Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.)

“President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey – who less than two months ago told the House Intelligence Committee that the President and his Administration were the subject of criminal and counterintelligence investigations regarding their close personal, political and financial ties to Russia and Russia’s active interference in our 2016 presidential election on Trump’s behalf – should send a chill down the spine of every American, no matter who they voted for. This is not what an innocent person would do; this is an abuse of power, and shows a consciousness of guilt.

“The administration of justice must remain free of political influence, and President Trump has just leaped over that line. If he thinks this will halt or even slow investigations into his and his associates’ conduct, he is sadly mistaken. The American people deserve to know what happened, and Trump’s ‘Tuesday Afternoon Massacre’ won’t interfere. Nobody recommended by this administration can be trusted to oversee this investigation, and so the need for an independent bipartisan commission is now more urgent than ever.”

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.)

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.)

“Like many, I was stunned to learn that President Trump has fired FBI director James Comey. This dismissal came as Comey was leading an investigation into whether individuals connected to the president coordinated with Russia to impact the 2016 presidential election.

“This abrupt action raises many serious questions and is further proof that an independent prosecutor should be named to head the Russia investigation. It also could make the possibility of such an appointment more likely. The president may think that firing Comey will help his case, but no matter who conducts the investigation, Comey will now likely be called to testify under oath and his words could do the administration far more harm than good.”

READ MORE
Trump dismisses James Comey as director of the FBI
Letters from the White House and attorney general on the firing
Democrats hate Jim Comey. But they hate that Trump fired him even more.
-Republican reactions to the firing of James Comey, ranked

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