‘Constitutional crisis’: Trump’s firing of FBI director ignites Twitter frenzy
President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday after he testified before Congress on the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted in reaction, that despite Comey having "sought for years to jail me," he opposed the firing and condemned it as "political interference in the Bureau's work.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, called for “immediate emergency hearings” to hear testimony from Attorney General Sessions and Comey.
“The White House was already covering up for Michael Flynn by refusing to provide a single document to Congress, and now the President fired the one independent person who was doing the most to investigate President Trump and his campaign over allegations of coordination with Russia,” Cummings said in a statement released by the House Oversight Committee.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said Trump called him to tell him about the firing before it was announced, to which Schumer said he was making “a big mistake.”
Later, Schumer called the decision “part of a deeply troubling pattern from the Trump administration.”
“They fired Sally Yates. They fired Frank Carrara. And now they fire Director Comey, the very man leading the investigation. This does not seem to be a coincidence,” Schumer said, adding that anyone who is appointed to lead the investigation “will be concerned that he or she will meet the same fate as Director Comey if they run afoul of the administration,” according to a transcript from C-Span.
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), said the firing “raises profound questions about whether the White House is brazenly interfering in a criminal matter.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California) said the firing of Comey "should send a chill down the spine of every American," and that Trump's action was "an abuse of power, and shows a consciousness of guilt."
"The American people deserve to know what happened, and Trump’s ‘Tuesday Afternoon Massacre’ won’t interfere," Swalwell added.
The "Tuesday Afternoon Massacre" is a reference to President Richard Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre" in which he fired two prosecutors investigating the Watergate scandal.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) called Trump’s decision “outrageous” and called on Comey to immediately testify on the status of the investigation before he was fired.
“There can be no question that a fully independent special counsel must be appointed to lead this investigation,” Wyden said in a statement. “At this point, no one in Trump’s chain of command can be trusted to carry out an impartial investigation.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) questioned the reason the administration gave for their decision, saying “does anyone seriously believe that Donald Trump fired the top person investigating Trump’s ties to Russia because he was unfair to Hillary Clinton? Give me a break.”
Senator Bernie Sanders said the firing “raises serious questions about what his administration is hiding.” He also called for an independent investigation, saying “it’s clear that whomever President Trump handpicks to lead the FBI will not be able to objectively carry out the Russian investigation.”
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) said that, with the firing, “We are witnessing a Constitutional crisis unfold before our very eyes.”
Many on the left questioned why Trump decided to fire Comey now, just after he gave testimony on the Russian investigation.
Many on the right were happy with Trump’s decision, saying it will restore confidence and questioning Democrats who criticized Comey for reopening the investigation into former Secretary Hillary Clinton days before the 2016 election.
Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, called the sacking “an important move to restore public confidence in the fair administration of justice at the Federal level,” adding that Trump “took the right step in cleaning house at the FBI.”
Many on the right, however, voiced concerns about the future of the investigation.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) said he was “troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination.”
While Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) said that he was “disappointed” in Trump’s decision to fire Comey, adding that it “only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee.”
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan), a ranking member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said that he is “reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia.”