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.”
Do you think Congress should appoint an independent special prosecutor? Click Take Action to contact your lawmakers and let them know!
-- Matt Laslo, in the U.S. Capitol
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable