June 08, 2017 06:50 PM
Former FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress on Thursday, where he asserted that President Donald Trump fired him to interfere with his investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 election.
After his hearing, Minnesota lawmakers spoke out on Comey's firing and the need for an independent investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election.
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar called the former director a, "man of integrity" and said his testimony made it clear why he was fired.
"He was not fired due to a loss of support by his agents or because of his handling of the Clinton email investigation," Klobuchar said in a statement. "He was fired smack dab in the middle of a major investigation regarding a foreign power's influence on our election."
Sen. Al Franken echoed Klobuchar's sentiment in a statement saying, "It's clear that President Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey because of the Trump-Russia investigation. And today's explosive testimony by former Director Comey before the Senate Intelligence Committee makes the case even stronger that the President continuously tried to undermine that investigation."
Democratic Sen. Al Franken called Comey's testimony Thursday "explosive."
In a statement, Franken said in part: "It's clear that President Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey because of the Trump-Russia investigation. And today's explosive testimony by former Director Comey before the Senate Intelligence Committee makes the case even stronger that the President has continuously tried to undermine that investigation."
Rep. Betty McCollum released a statement on Facebook pushing for an independent commission to investigate Trump and his campaign's ties to Russia.
"In addition, we need firm assurance that President Trump will not interfere with the criminal probe being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller," the statement read.
Franken also called for a special prosecutor to review Russia's involvement in the election.
Carleton College Political Science Professor Steven Schier says there is still a long road ahead regarding the probe into the White House's relationship with Russia. He adds a big part of Thursday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing was really for each party to try to justify its side.
"The whole reason we're talking about this is because of partisan politics," said Schier. "It's just part of the environment of Washington. It's a pretty poisonous environment now so whenever any side has any rock they can throw across the partisan divide, they will. That's what happened today."
Democrats on the committee focused their questions more so around the content of those private conversations between the President and Comey like what was said and what was asked. Republicans were more driven to uncover how many of Comey's memos were confidential and leaked. The former FBI Director did leak one confidential conversation which also became the main focus of President Trump's attorney when it came time to respond to the testimony.
KSTP reached out to the offices of Rep. Tom Emmer and Erik Paulsen for comment, however, neither office had a statement.
Updated: June 08, 2017 06:50 PM
Created: June 08, 2017 01:28 PM
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