Comey firing: Reaction from members of Congress on FBI director’s dismissal

President Trump fired James B. Comey as the director of the FBI. The decision came as Comey was leading a counterintelligence investigation into potential Russian interference in the 2016 election. Officials said it resulted from a conclusion by Justice Department officials that he had mishandled a probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Here is reaction from members of Congress:

FROM THE SENATE

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

On CNN: “It is an abuse of power if the FBI was in fact investigating the president of the United States. For the president to fire someone who has him under active investigation is in my view an abuse of power.”

“If there was every any doubt about the need for a special independent prosecutor, which I’ve been advocating for months, there is no question now.”

“Only a special prosecutor can hold accountable anyone who colluded with the Russians … and the president himself has to be deemed a potential target. If not right at this moment then a potential target in the future because his associates in that campaign are targets right now.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)

“The Justice Department was really understaffed for a long time, it took a while for the attorney general to be confirmed and his deputy was just confirmed I believe a week or so ago, and it’s the deputy who is a career prosecutor who had been designated to do the analysis so the FBI director’s actions and came up with the recommendation.

“The president did not fire the entire FBI. He fired the director of the FBI. And any suggestion that this is somehow going to stop the FBI’s investigation of the attempts by the Russians to influence the elections last fall is really patently absurd. This is just one person, it’s the director, the investigation is going forward both at the FBI and in the Senate Intel Committee in a bipartisan way. SO I don’t think there’s any link at all.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

“While the case for removal of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey laid out by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein was thorough, his removal at this particular time will raise questions. It is essential that ongoing investigations are fulsome and free of political interference until their completion, and it is imperative that President Trump nominate a well-respected and qualified individual to lead the bureau at this critical time.”