‘Constitutional crisis’: Trump’s firing of FBI director ignites Twitter frenzy
The unexpected firing of FBI Director James Comey has ignited a war of words and tweets. Will President Donald Trump’s decision restore confidence, or, was this a sudden move to undermine investigations into alleged Russian meddling of US elections?
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.”
This FBI Director has sought for years to jail me on account of my political activities. If I can oppose his firing, so can you. https://t.co/zUp5kquy8q— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 9, 2017
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.
If we don't get a special prosecutor, every American will rightfully suspect that the decision to fire #Comey was part of a cover-up.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 9, 2017
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.”
Firing of Comey tainted by extraordinary conflict of interest. Independent prosecutor must be appointed to restore any public confidence. pic.twitter.com/m5fSJ3LpiG— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 9, 2017
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.
This is not what an innocent person would do. Firing the guy investigating #RussianHacking -- without cause -- is consciousness of guilt. https://t.co/KZkci2XRqc— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) May 9, 2017
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.
FUN FACT: President Nixon never fired the Director of the FBI #FBIDirector#notNixonianpic.twitter.com/PatArKOZlk— RichardNixonLibrary (@NixonLibrary) May 9, 2017
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.”
It’s time for Congress to get their heads out of the sand. @realDonaldTrump cannot pick the person to continue this critical investigation.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 9, 2017
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.
Now it's even more important that an independent special counsel is appointed to investigate the Russian interference in our elections. pic.twitter.com/WcoxtbfSyW— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 9, 2017
.@POTUS It's now clearer than ever that we need an independent investigation into Trump's ties to Russia.— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) May 9, 2017
Sad for the country that any decision DOJ and FBI make now will be shrouded in suspicion. It's a hammer blow to the integrity of our system.— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) May 9, 2017
As a former prosecutor, I find Trump's firing of Comey SCREAMS consciousness of guilt and a cover up. We need a special prosecutor NOW. https://t.co/c2dV8MsLJT— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 9, 2017
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.”
Comey Fired!!! Finally.— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 9, 2017
Given the recent controversies surrounding the Director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 9, 2017
Media is melting down like a snowball in hell-are these the same media folks who called for Comey's head when they thought he hurt Hillary?— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) May 10, 2017
Seriously, you mind-numbed, moonbat addled Democrats, how long will Trump be "under investigation" for Russia? Forever?— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) May 10, 2017
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.”
My statement on the dismissal of FBI Director Comey https://t.co/ovoe34xajZpic.twitter.com/1hB0QveczE— Richard Burr (@SenatorBurr) May 9, 2017
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.”
My staff and I are reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia. The second paragraph of this letter is bizarre. https://t.co/wXeDtVIQiP— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 9, 2017