by Countable | 5.10.17
President Trump’s surprise move to oust FBI Director James Comey has drawn bipartisan condemnation from members of Congress. But so far GOP leaders are resisting calls to set up an independent investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Tea Party backed Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) says his office is examining legislation to set up an independent investigation into Russia’s role in the election.
My staff and I are reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia. The second paragraph of this letter is bizarre. https://t.co/wXeDtVIQiP— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 9, 2017
And other Republicans, like Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), are voicing bewilderment at the president’s action.
I've spent the last several hours trying to find an acceptable rationale for the timing of Comey's firing. I just can't do it.— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) May 10, 2017
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gathered all of the members of his party on the Senate floor this morning to highlight the gravity of the president’s action. He argues the timing of the firing is suspicious because the FBI only recently sent out subpoenas to aides of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Schumer says the White House’s claim that Comey was pushed out for how he handled the Hillary Clinton server investigation doesn’t add up.
“But he didn’t fire Director Comey then. The question is, why did it happen last night?”
Still, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor that Democrats are being hypocritical.
“Our Democratic colleagues [are] complaining about the removal of an FBI director whom they themselves repeatedly and sharply criticized... Today we’ll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation, which could only serve to impede the current work being done to not only discover what the Russians may have done [but] also to let this body and the national security community develop countermeasures and war-fighting doctrine to see that it doesn’t occur again.”
The Republican head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Richard Burr (NC), is also resisting calls for an independent investigation. He says his staff is ploughing ahead with their meticulous and bipartisan investigation. Burr told a gaggle of reporters at the Capitol,
“We’ve put a lot of dots on the board – the picture is not connected yet, but over the next months, as we do more of the interviews, we’ll have an opportunity to fill in more of that picture... It’s my hope that we’ll look a little more into Russia’s involvement in the French elections and how they might or might not have been similar to their involvement in the U.S. elections.”
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-- Matt Laslo, in the U.S. Capitol
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
It is time to appoint an independent investigator into Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election and the widespread corruption, ties, and conflicts of interest between the Trump administration and Russian interests.
From former GOP Bush WH official Peter Wehner: "President Trump’s firing of James Comey, the 7th director of the F.B.I., was an abuse of power. Republicans — Republican lawmakers and especially the congressional leadership — need to say so. But that is hardly enough. Words must be followed by actions. At a minimum, Republicans must insist on a congressional select committee or independent commission to investigate Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election and any collusion between the president, his associates or campaign officials and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. What is now in the shadows needs to be brought into the light. Among the reasons we can confidently conclude that the president abused his power is that the White House’s explanation for the expulsion of Mr. Comey was transparently false, even ludicrous. The reason the Trump administration gave for firing Mr. Comey this year is the exact same reason for which Mr. Trump praised Mr. Comey last year: the former F.B.I. director’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. Based on his repeated public comments lacerating Mrs. Clinton and praising Mr. Comey for reopening the investigation in October, there is no disputing the fact that Mr. Trump personally rejects the core arguments that his aides are now giving for his firing of the F.B.I. director: that Mr. Comey overstepped his role; that he disclosed information critical of Hillary Clinton in July when the F.B.I. closed its investigation; and that he overstepped again when he reopened and re-closed the investigation right before Election Day. In fact, Mr. Trump’s animus toward Mrs. Clinton was so deep that he endorsed the “lock her up” chants from his supporters and declared that “she has to go to jail.” The president wanted Mr. Comey fired all right, but for reasons other than the one that was publicly stated. It does not require great detective skill to see that there is something else is going on here and that the something else involves the F.B.I.’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. Indeed, in his letter informing Mr. Comey that he was fired, the president did not mention Mr. Comey’s handling of Mrs. Clinton’s email, but he did mention that Mr. Comey has told him personally not once, not twice, but three times that he wasn’t the subject of the F.B.I.’s investigation. (In fairy tales this is known as “the power of three.”) "The Republicans who have so far stood in lock step with Mr. Trump, defending him at every turn, need to ask themselves whether they want to continue to be complicit in this institutional assault. By now it should be clear to them that having Donald Trump’s back will cost them their integrity. It’s not worth it."
If you don't support looking into this problem, then you must be hiding something!
Independent special committee not appointed by the White House.
This should have been done months ago!
Regardless of whether you are a Republican or Democrat, the issue at stake is "the truth". The only way to achieve that is through an independant investigation. If there's nothing to hide with this administration, then they have nothing to worry about. Republicans have been saying that they've been investigating for months, but Trump has only assigned 2 people (both Republicans) to this task. The fact that a number of his appointees and associates have ties to Russia raises red flags. The fact that he will not release his tax returns raises red flags. The fact that he has refused to divest raises red flags. The fact that Russians have made large investments in Trump properties raises red flags. And, the fact that he will openly criticize any world leader EXCEPT for Vladimir Putin raises red flags. At some point you have to say, "There are too many coincidences for us to simply ignore." Investigate without interference from Washington. If wrong-doing is found, punish those responsible. It can no longer be about who is a Democrat or a Republican. It has to be about what is right for this Country. Sweep nothing under the rug. After all, shouldn't we be 100% certain that our President is looking out for OUR best interests and not just HIS?
Do you really need to ask at this point?! Of course we need an independent commission. The fact that it has taken this long to finally go down that route is honestly a little scary. This should have happened Jan 21st.
We depend on you to support an independent staff to investigate our President and staff involvement with Russia.
I am very suspicious of President Trump's firing if Mr. Comey. It and all ties to Russia should be thoroughly investigated.
I fully support and independent investigation. We, the people, need answers and we deserve transparency!
Yes, an independent commission or independent prosecutor appointed by Congress not by the executive branch, is absolutely needed. It is past time for an independent investigation into the allegations of connections between this White House, the former presidential campaign, and the Russian government.
Yes! Why are we STILL asking this questions 110 days later? Same reason Jeff Sessions had to be forced into a recusal. Common sense and decency no longer prevails.
An independent prosecutor is essential to head the investigation into Russian involvement in our election process.
Special prosecutor time. Do your job. It's so obvious that tRump is deep in the shit. Impeach that crook.
When did Republicans started overlooking anything the Russians do in regards to our country?? When did Republicans go Russian Red? I applaud those who have not and support Rep. Justin Amash in his review of legislation to establish an independent commission to look into the Russian connection to our election and to Trump. I support Senator John McCain, Rep. Jeff Flake, and the many other Republican Senators and Representatives calling for a full investigation. Katherine Palmira, Austin, TX, TX25INDIVISIBLE
No! A complete waste of money. Obamas cronies have been searching for stuff since the election. It does not exist. We need a clean slate in the FBI. Someone like Sheriff Clarke to clean house and restore law and order.
The fact that I need to message you about the questionable firing of James Comey makes me a sad and somewhat angry American. I'm not a Democrat or Republican. What I AM, is a reasonable free thinking voter who pays attention to the painful reality facing citizens of this country. If we all zoom out to a higher level, the governance (I use this term loosely) being provided by our representatives is pathetic at best and criminal at worst. Evidently you ALL need reminding that your jobs everyday are to provide "Checks & Balance" to the other branches of government. With regard to Russia AND repealing the Affordable Care Act AND Net Neutrality: PULL YOU HEADS OUT OF EACH OTHERS ASSES!!!! At this point I might need to make a sign and stand outside my local grocery store pleading for each passing person to contact our representatives with their own views. Don't worry, I plan on coming with pre-printed slips of paper with your email addresses and phone numbers for convenience. Oh and BTW.....STOP BEING SUCH COWARDS. Myself and my fellow Americans don't have time to babysit you and hold your hand through tough times. WE are too BUSY WORKING & PAYING for your salaries and public funded health insurance.
Do I think Trump and/or his team colluded with Russia? Not really (and I'm a Democrat). Did Russia attempt to interfere in the election? I think it's likely! But no matter what Comey was going to find or not find, it is undeniably unethical to fire the person investigating you. It gives people a reason to not trust you and trust in elected officials is an essential part of democracy. We need to restore that trust as quickly as possible.
It is time for a special prosecutor/independent investigation in to the Russian connection with this president and his minions. Sally Yates' testimony can only lead anyone with a bit of intelligence to conclude that there is more to this than we know. Firing Comey is a blatant attempt to conceal evidence. There is no way forward without an independent investigation.