Nevada's D.C. delegation reacts to FBI director's dismissal
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
“I was surprised that it actually did happen,” Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, told me from Washington on Wednesday, reacting to President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday evening.
The move by the President caught official Washington by surprise, especially since it comes as investigations heat up on the role Russia played in the 2016 Election – and whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
The White House insists there was none and says Democratic outrage over the firing is hypocritical because they’ve been calling for Comey's dismissal over his role in the election. Many Democrats blame him for costing Hillary Clinton a victory with his October surprise announcement that he had found new emails that warranted investigation.
Ironically, his handling of the Clinton emails is the same rationale the White House used to justify his firing.
Wednesday, during an Oval Office meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the President said he fired Comey “because he wasn’t doing a good job. Very simply, he was not doing a good job.”
The dismissal, and percolating probes, have heads spinning in Washington and comes as three Russia-related investigations are underway: two on Capitol Hill and one by the FBI.
“Whether he is, should have or should not have been – obviously that’s up to the president – he can make that particular decision, I just didn’t like the timing of it,” Heller says, referring to Comey’s ouster.
As for whether he thinks the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow, “I just don’t have the answer to those questions and obviously all of it is coming out right now, and I’m as sensitive to the timing as anyone else,” Heller says. “I think Nevadans and the American people have a right to know what kind of meddling Russians were doing in our elections.”
Our democrats say "Russia-gate" needs an outside probe.
In a statement, U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto told News 3, "The abrupt firing of Director Comey shows that the Trump administration will stop at nothing to interfere with the Trump-Russia investigation. This reiterates the urgent need for an independent investigation and independent prosecutor.”
"We don't need a lackey to replace Comey,” tweets Congresswoman Dina Titus. "We need an independent commission to investigate Trump-Russia ties."
3rd District Congresswoman Jacky Rosen agrees.
“We need somebody who it not beholden to the president – who's going to find the truth of any alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and ties with Russia,” she told me Wednesday at her local office.
“It is highly suspicious that days before James Comey was fired as the director of the FBI, it has been reported that he requested additional resources to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia,” Congressman Ruben Kihuen, D-Nevada, says.
Heller says let the current investigations continue, “but if they find difficulty and they can't get the answers they want or need I don't think an independent counsel or investigator or prosecutor should be taken off the table,” he says.
And that's a Republican talking – on a firing that's consuming the Capitol.