Questions and concerns from RI leaders in the wake of Comey firing

By: Samantha Fenlon

Email: news@abc6.com

Twitter: @ABC6

Shocking and disturbing, those are the words Rhode Island’s Senior Senator Jack Reed used to describe his reaction to the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

"I was very surprised. Comey has been criticized by Republicans and Democrats, but I think one thing that he has tried to project was the fact that he was following the law,” said Reed.

The Senator pointed specifically to the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference with the Presidential election. Back in March, Comey confirmed the agency was looking into whether there was any coordination with President Trump’s campaign.

"It raises deep, deep, deep questions about that investigation and about the ability of the Department of Justice to conduct that investigation,” said Reed.

That’s a sentiment Senator Sheldon Whitehouse agrees with. He issued a statement reading in part, "America needs to have confidence that the Department of Justice will fill its traditional role of following the facts fearlessly, and prosecuting whomever has violated the law no matter the office they hold."

Senator Whitehouse calls for the Senate to investigate the firing.

Senator Reed added he wants to see a Special Prosecutor appointed to look into the Russian hacking investigation.

"Someone who will be independent. Someone who will be able to gather the evidence, follow the law and go ahead and reassure the American public that this is not personal,” said Reed.

Senator Reed also points out that many officials involved in the investigation have either been removed or have forced to recuse themselves. He says the investigation must be overseen by someone the President "cannot fire at will."

Rich Luchette, spokesman for Rep. Cicilline, said, "This is very concerning news. President Trump just terminated FBI Director Comey in the middle of an investigation into collusion between Vladimir Putin’s regime and the Trump campaign. To say that this raises serious questions would be an enormous understatement."

Congressman Jim Langevin issued a statement as well, which read in part:

"The firing of FBI Director Comey today, while he was in the midst of investigating the President’s ties to the Russian government, is deeply disturbing and raises a host of questions. It is imperative that a special prosecutor, immune from dismissal by the President, be appointed immediately to continue that investigation free from political interference. President Trump claims that Congress and the public have lost faith in the FBI when what they are losing faith in is his presidency."

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017