President Donald Trump's unexpected and abrupt decision on Tuesday to fire FBI Director James Comey has prompted swift reaction from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Comey's firing comes as he was leading the investigation into whether Trump's campaign and his associates worked with Russia to swing the 2016 election. The move has prompted several Michigan lawmakers to renew calls for an independent investigation into the matter.
In his brief letter Tuesday to Comey, Trump said the firing was necessary to restore “public trust and confidence” in the FBI. The administration paired the letter with a scathing review by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of how Comey handled the investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s email practices, including his decision to hold a news conference announcing its findings and releasing “derogatory information” about Clinton.
On Wednesday, Trump defended his firing of FBI Director James Comey, asserting in a flurry of tweets Wednesday that Republicans and Democrats “will be thanking me.” Trump did not mention any effect the firing might have on the probe into contacts between his 2016 campaign and Russia.
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade
The conservative Freedom Caucus member called for an independent commission to investigate alleged Russian ties with the Trump campaign and his associates.
In a tweet Tuesday, Amash referred to the second paragraph of termination letter Trump sent to Comey as “bizarre.”
The paragraph being referenced reads in part:
While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph
The moderate southwest Michigan Republican called for "just the facts, please," reiterating that he's "always advocated for an independent and non-political FBI."
Upton, in a statement issued by his office Wednesday, said he's not privy to the details behind the firing or the justification for it.
"But the replacement must restore the public confidence immediately. It cannot be a partisan selection," the statement went on to read.
"As it relates the Russian investigation, I remain hopeful that the existing bipartisan Congressional committees in the House and Senate can find answers for the many questions. If need be, I would support a special prosecutor at the appropriate time. We must continue to follow the facts wherever they lead.”
In March, Upton publicly called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the Department of Justice investigation into Russia, the statement notes.
U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland
Rep. Huizenga's office did not immediately provide a statement to FOX 17 on the congressman's reaction to the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint
The Flint Twp. congressman reiterated calls made by his Republican counterparts for an independent investigation.
Kildee, in a Tuesday tweet, said the firing of Comey is "just another reason why we need an independent & and bi-partisan investigation into troubling #TrumpRussia ties."
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Twp.
Peters called for a special prosecutor, citing the firing as "the latest in a long list of reasons why" one would be necessary. He also tweeted there is "no chance of impartiality, transparency" if the president can now choose the person to lead the investigation.
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing
In a more lengthy response on Facebook, as opposed to a tweet, Stabenow said the firing "disturbed" her and was "a potential threat to our national security."
"It is essentual that we finally appoint an independent special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this," Stabenow said. "The intrgeirty of our election process and our national security is too important to play political games."