Comey firing demands independent probe

Published 8:49 am Thursday, May 11, 2017

Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn need to set aside partisan party politics and support a call for a special prosecutor or a select committee to investigate any connection between President Donald Trump’s administration and Russia.

While the president does have the right to fire the FBI director, his reasons for doing so are suspect.

Trump claims he fired Comey for the way he handled Hillary Clinton’s e-mail investigation during the campaign. However, while on the campaign trail, Trump praised Comey’s work and encouraged the investigation.

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If Trump had a change of heart, why did it take months?

Rather, it seems far likelier that he fired James Comey shortly after the director requested additional resources to broaden his investigation into Trump’s alleged Russian connections.

Further, the recommendation to fire Comey was made, in part, by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions had promised to recuse himself from any part of the Russian investigation because he admitted he lied under oath to the Judiciary Committee when they asked during his confirmation hearing whether he had met with any Russian officials. In fact, he had met several times with the Russian ambassador.

It appears, therefore, Comey’s dismissal was a political move, designed to circumvent a potentially dangerous inquiry and protect potential enemies of the state. This is dangerous.

First, if there is any connection between Russia and the administration, the American people deserve to know about it and the relationship must end. Second, the American people and the rest of the world must know that our country remains independent of foreign influence and that we hold even the leadership to the rule of law.

Our Republican senators must stand with other Republicans like John McCain who are calling for an independent investigation. If there is anything that every American should be able to agree on, it is this issue. If President Trump is innocent and he has no connection to Russia, an investigation will clear his name. If he is guilty, an investigation could root out a corrupt administration.

The presidency is a powerful office, but the rule of law and our country’s security and reputation must be larger still.