NY lawmakers, experts react to Comey firing
May 10, 2017 11:52 AM
President Donald Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey sent shockwaves through Washington, D.C. Tuesday.
I told the president, Mr. President, with all due respect, you're making a big mistake, said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Comey had been leading the FBI's probe into whether trump's campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.
Schumer is now joining those who say the only to have a fair investigation is for a special prosecutor to take over the investigation.
“Are people going to suspect cover up? Absolutely,” Schumer said. “If an independent special prosecutor is appointed there still can be some faith that we can get to the bottom of this. If not, everyone will suspect cover up.”
“By firing the director of the FBI as he is carrying out the most sensitive investigation America has, spy hunting, that tells me that the white house has something to cover up,” said counterterrorism expert Malcolm Nance.
Democrats and Republicans have criticized Comey for his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.
“Director Comey had extraordinarily controversial tenure in office and I think perhaps a fresh start will be a good thing for the FBI,” said Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook).
Faso said the FBI needs a new leader.
“Someone who’s independent and someone who is experienced and who is knowledgeable about law enforcement and protection of people's rights,” Faso said.
Justice Department officials said the Trump administration believes Comey mishandled the Clinton probe and that is what led to his firing.
In a statement, President Trump said he made the decision based on the recommendations of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Counterterrorism expert Malcolm Nance said that could be a problem for the Justice Department.
“The president fires the chief investigator, then uses the Attorney General who had already publicly recused himself,” Nance said. “He may have just violated the law by taking part in this firing.”
Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik released the following statement:
"I have concerns about the timing and appearance of the decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey. I believe strongly in the importance of an independent FBI Director to maintain the integrity of the organization. I respect Director Comey’s years of public service and want more specific information as to why this decision was made by the President. As a Member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am committed to continuing the Committee’s bipartisan investigation and will follow the facts wherever they may lead."
Democratic Congressman Paul Tonko released the following statement:
"President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey casts further doubt on this President’s ability to lead the world’s greatest free nation. I continue to be troubled by his erratic and inconsistent handling of his responsibilities and his fear of accountability, especially when it comes to his personal and business obligations to Russia.
The American people deserve to know the whole and unfiltered truth about Russia’s involvement with the Trump campaign. Now, more than ever, we need a special prosecutor with the resources and authority to follow and report the facts wherever they may lead."
Updated: May 10, 2017 11:52 AM
Created: May 09, 2017 11:31 PM
Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company