President Donald Trump on Tuesday abruptly fired James Comey, who was supposed to have at least six more years in his term as FBI director.
Comey was leading what appeared to be an open-ended investigation into Russian interference in the election — and what Trump associates knew about it. He also had led investigations into the private email server Democrat Hillary Clinton had when she was secretary of state. Comey publicized a review of additional emails days before Trump defeated Clinton in the November election.
Comey's dismissal drew rebuke and concern from politicians, including some from Trump's Republican Party.
- Sen. Rob Portman, a Terrace Park Republican, lauded Comey's integrity and raised questions about the firing.
"Given the timing and circumstances of the decision, I believe the White House should provide a fuller explanation regarding the president’s rationale," he said in a statement. "I’m concerned about eroding trust in this premier law enforcement agency."
- Republican Gov. John Kasich said in a statement: "I am extremely troubled by the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, who has served this nation honorably."
Gov. John Kasich statement on James Comey pic.twitter.com/Wrwj6sGqnz— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) May 10, 2017
- Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, said Comey's tenure was "marred by questionable judgment," but said: "Now more than ever, we need an independent investigation into Russian ties to ensure American people can have full confidence in findings."
Now more than ever, we need an independent investigation into Russian ties to ensure American people can have full confidence in findings. pic.twitter.com/bPrbDnOA4e— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) May 9, 2017
- Rep. Warren Davidson, who represents Butler County, backed Trump. "Director Comey unquestionably led divisive and complex investigations, and it is essential that the next Director of the FBI inspire confidence in the rule of law," the Troy Republican said in a statement.
- Rep. Thomas Massie, who represents Northern Kentucky, also backed Trump. "“President Trump was within his authority to fire Director Comey. I suspect Hillary Clinton would have done it sooner had she won the election, since Director Comey had lost the ability to conduct the business of the FBI with the confidence of the American people.”
As the search for Comey's replacement continues, the FBI is being headed by Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.