On Tuesday evening, the White House dismissed FBI Director James Comey.
Though some say the move was predictable, it still sent ripples through Washington. Comey’s removal comes in the midst of an ongoing FBI investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. The Democrats immediately called for an independent prosecutor into the Russia investigation; and this time, they were joined by some of their Republican colleagues.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who has been among the loudest critics of the Trump administration, said in a statement that he was “disappointed” by the president’s decision to dismiss Comey. He continued, “I have long called for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The president’s decision to remove the FBI Director only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee.”
McCain was joined in his dissent by Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC), one of the leading lawmakers in the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. In his statement, Burr wrote “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination…his dismissal further confuses an already difficult investigation by the Committee. In my interactions with the Director and with the Bureau under his leadership, he and the FBI have always been straightforward with our Committee.”
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While Burr and McCain opposed him, Trump did enjoy support from a number of Republicans, including the moderate Susan Collins of Maine. Collins declared, “any suggestion that today’s announcement is somehow an effort to stop the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s attempt to influence the election last fall is misplaced.”