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Politics and Government

Area members of Congress react to Comey firing

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News File Photo
Rep. Claudia Tenney

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said the firing of FBI Director James Comey by President Donald Trump will not interfere with the bureau’s investigation into Russian hacking of the 2016 presidential election.

"I am absolutely confident that the investigation going on by the FBI in this matter and by the House and Senate intelligence committees are going to go on full steam ahead," Katko said. "Subpoenas are being issued, people are being interviewed, people are coming to testify, and that's going to continue unabated." 

Katko said Trump should give a better explanation as to why Comey was fired.

"He was at times adored by the Democrats, at times loathed by the Democrats," Katko said. "He was at times adored by Republicans and loathed by Republicans over the course of the past year. Obviously, there is some issues with respect to people's perception of him."  

Katko called Comey a good man who did the best he could under the current political climate. Katko said he does not support a special prosecutor for the Russian investigation just yet, but he said he would be open to it.

"I want to let the House and Senate intelligence communities do their job and everyone is rushing to get to the next step," Katko said. "If the next step happens, I will fully support it if it happens."

Tenney: "Let the process... go on"

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) isn’t ready just yet, to ask for a special prosecutor to delve into Russian meddling in last year’s election and any possible ties to the Trump campaign, but she’s not ruling it out entirely.

First off, the freshman says there’s no doubt that Trump had the authority to fire FBI Director James Comey, after she says it was clear he lost the confidence of both Democrats and Republicans. It’s that firing that’s led to renewed calls for some kind of investigation into the Russian involvement in last year’s election.

"I think Trump is a business person and he looked at the situation and said I see something festering and he’s going to take action on it.”

While some legislators a special prosecutor should be put on the job, Tenney says it’s time to take a step back from something like that, as long as congressional committees are investigating.

“Lets let the process and fact finding mission go on and find out what we really have there. I don’t think any American should be subjected to a special prosecutor until there is evidence that a special prosecutor is needed. And we may find that out. We don’t know.”

Stefanik wants more information

In a statement on Facebook, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) took a slightly different stand, telling her North Country constituents:

I have concerns about the timing and appearance of the decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey. I believe strongly in the importance of an independent FBI Director to maintain the integrity of the organization. I respect Director Comey’s years of public service and want more specific information as to why this decision was made by the President. As a Member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am committed to continuing the Committee’s bipartisan investigation and will follow the facts wherever they may lead.