PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman said the abrupt firing of former FBI Director James Comey by President Donald Trump on Tuesday seems a little fishy.
“Comey’s sudden dismissal looks an awful lot like a cover-up,” U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) said in a statement.
Gallego pointed out that Trump fired the person whose agency is in charge of an investigation into ties between Russian officials and the president’s campaign. He said Comey’s dismissal puts Trump in a position of worrisome power.
“He will now be able to direct the hiring (of) the next person in charge of that investigation,” Gallego said in the statement.
The congressman said Trump’s power over the investigation must be put in check.
“Trump can get away with these troubling maneuvers for only so long as Congressional Republicans allow him to do so,” he said. “Now that the FBI investigation has been tainted, it’s beyond time to appoint an independent special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this administration’s Russia ties.”
Should a special prosecutor not be appointed, Gallego said the American people will only be left with one assumption:
“Without an independent investigation, the American people will be forced to conclude that the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia is even more contemptible than we already suspected,” he said.
At least two other Arizona Democrats joined Gallego’s call for an independent investigation.
“The timing, to suddenly fire the director prior to the finding of any investigation, now we have to go through the process of trying to get an FBI director approved by the Senate… and what happens to the investigation? It’s now suspended,” U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said.
“I think this makes the case for an independent special prosecutor to take over this whole area of the investigation into the Trump administration … and let it proceed immediately.”
U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) also called for an investigation.
But those calls were not limited to just one side of the aisle. U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) echoed Gallego’s call for an independent investigation, but in less harsh language.
“I have long called for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election,” McCain said in a statement. “The president’s decision to remove the FBI director only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee.”
KTAR’s Tom Perumean contributed to this report.