Reactions to FBI Director James Comey's firing are mixed

Representatives, senators and othe politicos were quick to chime in.

ByRiley Beggin and Adam Kelsey
May 09, 2017, 11:39 PM

— -- Following President Donald Trump's firing Tuesday of FBI Director James Comey, a number of political figures spoke out, with reactions spanning the spectrum, from approval to suspicion. Here are the major reactions and questions raised by figures from both sides of the aisle.

Democrats ask: Is this a cover up?

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York:

Sen. Schumer said at a press conference this evening that he told President Trump firing Comey was a "big mistake," because it raises suspicions about whether the Trump administration is trying to purge the Justice Department of the top officials investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

"This is part of a troubling pattern from the Trump administration. They fired Sally Yates. They fired Preet Bharara. And now they fired director Comey, the very man leading the investigation. This does not seem to be a coincidence," he said, adding that there should be a special prosecutor to investigate Russia because it is the "only way to restore the American people's faith."

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland:

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia:

Robby Mook, former Clinton campaign manager:

Mook also said in statement: "I was as frustrated, concerned, and disappointed as anyone with Director Comey's handling of the email investigation, but President Trump just fired the man investigating how Russia meddled in our election and whether members of his campaign were involved, an investigation President Trump called 'charade' only 24 hours ago. It's equally concerning that our Attorney General, who lied about his own meetings with the Russians, pushed for Director Comey's firing."

Some Republicans agree the timing is questionable

Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina:

Sen. Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that he was troubled by the "timing and reasoning" of Comey's firing.

"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," Burr said. "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. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska:

Sen. Sasse, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee's Oversight Subcommittee, said the timing was "troubling."

"Regardless of how you think Director Comey handled the unprecedented complexities of the 2016 election cycle, the timing of this firing is very troubling," his statement read. "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."

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee:

Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma:

Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Virginia:

Many call for an independent prosecutor

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut:

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona:

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California:

Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey:

Nixon comparisons abound

John Podesta, former Clinton campaign chair:

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont:

Sen. Leahy said in a statement, "this is nothing less than Nixonian."

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico:

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania:

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee:

Rep. Cohen wrote, "this is sadly reminiscent of the Saturday Night Massacre when President Nixon fired Justice Department officials that threatened his presidency."

Even the Nixon Library chimed in:

Some wonder if Comey will talk

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon:

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland:

Cummings, the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement: "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 [former National Security Adviser] 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.”

Republicans offer praise for the president’s decision

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina:

"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. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa:

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina:

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri:

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Florida:

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia:

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine:

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