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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida reacts to James Comey firing

President Trump's letter to now-former FBI Director James Comey

The White House

President Trump's letter to now-former FBI Director James Comey

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Bill Nelson says President Trump's sudden firing of FBI Director James Comey demands an independent review of the Russian meddling.

“Now it is more clear than ever that we need an independent commission to get to the truth of Russia’s interference with our election," the Democrat said.

We've asked Republican Sen. Marco Rubio for comment.

Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor: President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey is a blatant attempt to stall the FBI's ongoing investigation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. It is also part of a disturbing trend -- first, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates is fired by Trump after informing the White House of deep concerns about Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his activities with Russia. Now, Comey is fired by Trump a week after testifying that the FBI is conducting its investigation. Trump may well be trying to distract the American people from the very troubling conflicts of interest, and those connections between Trump's former national security adviser and Russia that were known about for some 18 days before Trump reluctantly fired Flynn. It is past time for an independent, bipartisan investigation.  Trump may want to bury the investigation, but his presidency will continue under a cloud unless a special prosecutor or independent commission is established and the facts are fully presented to the American people."

Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis: "President Trump made the right decision to relieve FBI Director James Comey of his duties. I look forward to the President nominating a strong director who will keep the FBI focused on its core mission and out of the political thicket."

Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings: "The FBI Director's firing cries out for a Special Prosecutor. Up until the moment of his dismissal, Director Comey was actively investigating President Donald John Trumps’ connection to Russian interference in the 2016 election. The American people deserve to know why Director Comey was fired without reason and Donald Trump needs to explain himself immediately.”

Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo: "Today’s extraordinary decision raises many questions all of which must be answered. Congress and the American people need a transparent explanation as to how this decision was reached and why it was executed at this time. It is critical that the FBI can continue all of its pending work with independence and integrity – especially the investigation into the Russian government’s efforts to influence our last election and undermine American democracy. Today I reiterate the need for Congress to establish a Select Committee with full investigatory powers to thoroughly examine this matter.”

Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson: “Like many, I was stunned to learn that President Trump has fired FBI director James Comey. This dismissal came as Comey was leading an investigation into whether individuals connected to the president coordinated with Russia to impact the 2016 presidential election. This abrupt action raises many serious questions and is further proof that an independent prosecutor should be named to head the Russia investigation. It also could make the possibility of such an appointment more likely. The president may think that firing Comey will help his case, but no matter who conducts the investigation, Comey will now likely be called to testify under oath and his words could do the administration far more harm than good.”

Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist: "I don't disagree with the decision to remove Director Comey from his post given his actions over the past year. But the timing is extremely suspect given the FBI recently announced they are investigating the Trump administration for alleged ties to Russia. Now President Trump gets to nominate the head of the agency leading that investigation. We need a special prosecutor to take over the Russia investigation, and the Senate must drill down to a degree like never before on whoever is nominated to replace Director Comey. The integrity of our top law enforcement agency – and our democracy – is at stake!"

Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch: "Not since President Nixon have we seen such a disgraceful abuse of power and attack on the integrity of our system of justice. During one of the most important national security investigations of our time, Director Comey's firing is a blatant attack on the independence of the Justice Department. This behavior - firing the person who is investigating you – may pass in Putin’s Russia, but it is disgracefully below the office of the President of the United States. This is only the latest in a string of alarming moves by the White House: first they fired acting-Attorney General Yates for calling attention to their compromised National Security Advisor, then Preet Bharara, and now Director Comey. Attorney General Sessions has lost any remaining credibility by getting involved in an investigation from which he promised to recuse himself. Given the actions of the White House, the American people unfortunately must now question whether anyone affiliated with this Administration can investigate this case of Russian influence honestly, thoroughly, and independently. We need a special prosecutor and an independent commission to continue this investigation without the whiff of political oversight or interference."

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 10:22pm]

    

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