Washington, DC — Austin Evers, Executive Director of nonpartisan ethics watchdog group American Oversight, released the following statement in response to the firing of FBI Director James Comey:
“President Trump has been systematically undermining any investigation of his campaign or Russian interference in the 2016 election, and he has done extraordinary damage to the public’s faith in our system of justice.
“President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey – on the thin pretext of objecting to actions that the president and Attorney General had previously praised – sends a clear message that his greatest concern is preventing scrutiny of himself or his associates. This comes after the White House conspired with the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to plant bogus stories in the media to muddy the waters around Congress’s investigation into the election.
“The American people should demand that the Department of Justice and Congress take action to block the president’s efforts to squelch oversight.
“The Department of Justice must immediately appoint a special prosecutor to lead the criminal and counterintelligence investigations into the 2016 elections and President Trump’s campaign. With Attorney General Sessions recused and Deputy Attorney General Rosentstein complicit in supplying the president with the pretext to fire Mr. Comey, DOJ’s leadership lacks the trust to carry out these investigations.
“It’s also time to replace the balkanized and broken congressional investigations with a single, bipartisan select committee with the resources, jurisdiction, and subpoena power to actually get answers. The current investigation is scattered across multiple committees in both chambers of Congress without the staff or resources to get the job done.
“President Trump claimed that his decision to fire Mr. Comey will restore confidence in the rule of law but it has done just the opposite. We need independence in our law enforcement and congressional investigations and we need it now.”
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