President Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey

Sen. Brown wants special prosecutor to handle Russia investigation

Sen. Portman doesn’t call for prosecutor, but wants more information.

 RELATED: Comey asked for more resources for Russia probe before termination, reports say 

In a conference call with reporters, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he’d spent the morning talking to senators from both parties about the issue. “Everyone’s concerned about what Trump’s connections with the oligarchs and Putin and Russia are,” he said. “Everybody wants to get to the bottom of this, particularly the rank and file Republican and Democratic senators.”

He reiterated his call for a special prosecutor, but said that special prosecutor can’t be named by a political appointee such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions but “by a non-political career appointee.”

Ohio leaders react to FBI Director James Comey firing      

“We then want this done with,” he said, saying the Senate wants to work on issues such as infrastructure and tax reform.

He said few in the Senate trust Trump to replace Comey with someone that’s “fair minded.” An early morning story that Trump might name former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, he said, was “almost laughable.”

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He disputed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s assertion that appointing a special prosecutor would interfere with Senate investigations of the administration’s ties to Washington.

“I don’t understand why that would impede the Senate investigation,” he said, adding “That investigation should continue unimpeded, but you don’t shut down the FBI’s investigation, and now there’s little confidence in the Senate, in the House and especially among the American people that the FBI will do its job when this president doesn’t want an FBI director to let the FBI do its job.”

Ohio leaders react to FBI Director James Comey firing      

Brown also disagreed with the notion that Comey was fired because of his handling of the investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s emails. He said were that the case, “he would’ve been fired Jan. 20.”

“It’s pretty clear that Comey was getting closer and closer to unearthing information that would embarrass or worse” the Trump administration and its allies, he said.

Sen. Rob Portman did not call for an independent investigator Wednesday, but did ask for more information about Trump’s decision.

“Given the timing and circumstances of the decision, I believe the White House should provide a fuller explanation regarding the president’s rationale,” the Ohio Republican said. “The American people must have faith in a strong, independent FBI.”

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Meanwhile House Republicans in the state’s delegation began weighing in Wednesday and largely expressed support for Trump’s decision to fire Comey.

“No comment,” said Kelsey Knight, a spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, who is running for governor. “I know he trusts the President’s decision and isn’t going to feed into political or partisan gossip regarding why.”

“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,” said Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy. “I look forward to reviewing the facts in question and seeing justice preeminent at the Justice Department." 

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Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati said that “while the public deserves clarity as to the timing and reasoning behind the immediate firing of FBI Director James Comey, it’s indisputable that the controversies surrounding the director had become an area of concern for many Americans on both sides of the aisle. 

“The Department of Justice will continue to lead the Russian investigation, in coordination with the FBI, and my primary concern is that the American people get the facts they deserve from the ongoing investigations – that will continue to be my focus throughout this transition of leadership at the FBI,” Wenstrup said. 

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he is “troubled” by the firing of Comey. Kasich says that the FBI director “served his nation honorably.”

“Both parties in Congress must put partisanship aside and put our country first to ensure there are full and fair investigations into Russia’s efforts to influence our election.”

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, said as America learned of Comey’s ousting, “partisan pundits rushed to blame one another.”

"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,” he said. “I look forward to reviewing the facts in question and seeing justice preeminent at the Justice Department.”

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