Some Republicans express concern over Comey firing, call for special investigation

Many GOP members have voiced their concerns to Democratic peers.

— -- It's been two days since President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey, the leading figure in the intelligence community’s investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

In the immediate aftermath, Democrats roundly condemned the firing while Republicans were split on whether to endorse it. Many members, mostly Democrats, have also been calling for an independent special prosecutor to investigate possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

When asked by ABC News today whether she thinks a special prosecutor will be appointed, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said “I hope so. I’m certainly calling for that and I have been for quite some time.”

But as the week has progressed, some Republican members of Congress have been voicing apprehension to their Democratic colleagues.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, told ABC News that Republicans have been “quietly, privately ... expressing their concerns, but not enough have come forward to make a difference.”

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, announced today that he would be the second Republican to cosponsor a bill calling for an independent commission to investigate Russian interference in the election. The bill was introduced by Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, in December, and Rep. Walter Jones, R-North Carolina, became the first Republican to cosponsor the bill in February.

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colorado, also released a statement today endorsing an independent investigation and referenced an April 21 interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd in which he “bemoaned the politicization” of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation.

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-California, told local Capitol Public Radio today that Comey should have been fired at the beginning of the administration, but that “the timing of the firing makes it necessary to hand the investigation over to an independent prosecutor so it’s above reproach.”

Other Republicans have expressed their concerns about the firing, but wouldn’t go so far as to call for a special prosecutor on the case.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, told reporters “I don’t think the time has come” for a special prosecutor, adding “It may, it may not. Let’s wait to get all the facts.” However, he did say that he was hopeful that Comey would come to testify before the Senate in the coming days.

When asked whether Russia played a role in Comey’s removal, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, told ABC News “all I can say is that when the President fires the head of the FBI when there’s an active investigation going on, that questions ought to be raised.”

Representatives Barbara Comstock, R-Virginia, Carlos Curbelo, R-Florida, and Erik Paulsen, R-Minnesota, as well as Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, called for an independent investigation earlier this week.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated: a previous version incorrectly attributed a quote to Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md. In fact, it was a quote from Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., from an interview she gave to ABC News.