President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, a shocking move that shook the nation’s capital.
Comey was in the midst of an investigation into whether Trump’s campaign had coordinated with Russia to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Comey was on a recruiting trip in Los Angeles when Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced his ouster. Spicer said the firing would be effective “immediately.”
Reaction from Florida’s members of Congress was wide-ranging, from praise, to shock, to calls for a special prosecutor to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia. It wasn’t all along party lines.
Sen. Bill Nelson, Democrat
Nelson said that “now it is more clear than ever that we need an independent commission to get to the truth of Russia’s interference with our election.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, Republican
Rubio said he was “surprised” and “it certainly wasn’t something that had been speculated about,” according to Politico.
Rep. Kathy Castor, Democrat
Castor said in a tweet:
“What is Trump hiding?! Can’t allow #FBI Director #Comey firing to stall Trump/Russia investigation. Independent investigation is imperative!”
Her office also sent out the following statement:
“President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey is a blatant attempt to stall the FBI’s ongoing investigation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. It is also part of a disturbing trend – first, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates is fired by Trump after informing the White House of deep concerns about Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his activities with Russia. Now, Comey is fired by Trump a week after testifying that the FBI is conducting its investigation,” she said.
“Trump may well be trying to distract the American people from the very troubling conflicts of interest, and those connections between Trump’s former national security adviser and Russia that were known about for some 18 days before Trump reluctantly fired Flynn,” Castor continued. “It is past time for an independent, bipartisan investigation. Trump may want to bury the investigation, but his presidency will continue under a cloud unless a special prosecutor or independent commission is established and the facts are fully presented to the American people.”
Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Republican
“Today’s extraordinary decision raises many questions all of which must be answered. Congress and the American people need a transparent explanation as to how this decision was reached and why it was executed at this time,” Curbelo said. “It is critical that the FBI can continue all of its pending work with independence and integrity – especially the investigation into the Russian government’s efforts to influence our last election and undermine American democracy. Today I reiterate the need for Congress to establish a Select Committee with full investigatory powers to thoroughly examine this matter.”
Rep. Ron DeSantis, Republican
DeSantis said in a statement: “President Trump made the right decision to relieve FBI Director James Comey of his duties. I look forward to the President nominating a strong director who will keep the FBI focused on its core mission and out of the political thicket.”
Rep. Alcee Hastings, Democrat
Hastings, in a four-part tweet that included several hashtags, said:
#Comey investigates Trump, Trump fires Comey. If this was actually about Hillary Clinton it would have happened months ago.
…investigating President Donald John Trumps’ connection to Russian interference in the 2016 election
The American people deserve to know why Director #Comey was fired without reason & Donald Trump needs to explain himself immediately.
Rep. Frederica Wilson, Democrat
“Like many, I was stunned to learn that President Trump has fired FBI director James Comey,” Wilson said in a statement. “This dismissal came as Comey was leading an investigation into whether individuals connected to the president coordinated with Russia to impact the 2016 presidential election.
“This abrupt action raises many serious questions and is further proof that an independent prosecutor should be named to head the Russia investigation. It also could make the possibility of such an appointment more likely. The president may think that firing Comey will help his case, but no matter who conducts the investigation, Comey will now likely be called to testify under oath and his words could do the administration far more harm than good.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat
Wasserman Schultz was chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee when it was hacked during the 2016 election. She resigned in July.
“This is a dark day for justice in America. The conduct of FBI Director James Comey before the 2016 Election was certainly disturbing, and undoubtedly deserved criticism and scrutiny,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. “But the reasoning and timing behind this firing is absolutely preposterous and unbelievable. It smacks of a Nixon-esque cover up of President Trump’s Kremlin ties. And with this egregious political power play, there is now no question that a special prosecutor is needed, because Americans absolutely deserve an open, independent investigation into Trump’s Russian connections.”
Rep. Lois Frankel, Democrat
Rep. Theodore Deutch, Democrat
Deutch responded to the news in a couple tweets: