What California Representatives Say About Trump Firing Comey

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on the encryption of the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino attackers on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on March 1, 2016. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images) (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated 3:45 p.m. Wednesday

The White House on Tuesday fired FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to the Trump campaign and top aides.

“The FBI is one of our Nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” the president said in the statement.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office. President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement.

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KQED checked all of the social media accounts of California's congressional delegation. Here are the responses we have found so far:

Senate

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein
“President Trump called me at 5:30 p.m. and indicated he would be removing Director Comey, saying the FBI needed a change. The next FBI director must be strong and independent and will receive a fair hearing in the Judiciary Committee.”

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris
“I've said it before and will again - we must have a special prosecutor to oversee the FBI's Russia investigation. This cannot wait.”

House of Representatives

Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove, District 7)
"The same day the FBI escalated the investigation into Russian interference in the election, President Trump abruptly fired the leader of the investigation. The timing of FBI Director Comey’s firing is not only unprecedented, it raises serious questions about our democracy. Now more than ever, we need an independent investigation to answer these questions for the American people."

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona, District 42)
“First, I would like to thank James Comey for his years of public service under multiple Administrations. While I understand that there is much speculation about the timing and reasoning, I believe that Deputy AG Rosenstein’s letter lays out the case for a new FBI Director.  I continue to have the upmost confidence in the over 35,000 employees and Special Agents at the FBI who continue to execute the mission of the Department.  It is a new day at the FBI and I look forward to welcoming the next FBI Director.”

Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Atwater, District 10)
His office said he doesn't have a statement at this time.

Rep. John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove)
"This is serious, this isn't about a Democrat or a Republican, this is about a bad man in the office.  A fellow that has shown his inability to understand the nuances and the way in which government works, and even the Constitution, to say nothing of public policy.  So we've got to get to the bottom of the Russian thing, understand the emoluments clause and that the graft and corruption in this administration is beyond anything we've seen since the Teapot Dome scandal in the early 1900s."

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael, District 2)
"It's very clear that we need a special prosecutor + indep commission "
And if my GOP colleagues held + listened to their constituents, maybe they'd act and not just express "concern" this morning."

Rep. Steve Knight (R-Santa Clarita, District 25)
“The President has the authority to hire or fire anyone that reports to the Executive Branch of the Federal government. I continue to support current Congressional investigations into this and other matters and I look forward to seeing their findings.”

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale, District 1)
From his office: "Congressman LaMalfa thinks it was the right decision. Director Comey has lost confidence from both sides of the aisle, and it was the right time to make a change."

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland)
“The Trump Administration is in shambles. What is this Administration trying to hide? An independent commission is needed now! #TrumpRussia”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance)
"America is great because can't stop an investigation against himself or his associates. FBI Counterintelligence decides how it ends."

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento, District 6)
"We must have an independent prosecutor to investigate Russian interference in our election."

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield, District 23)
“When the FBI director thinks he becomes also the attorney general and the prosecutor he’s probably overstepped,” McCarthy said. “I would argue that Comey made the FBI political, and that’s probably not the place to be.”

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove, District 4)
"I strongly support President Trump’s decision to fire James Comey for gross misconduct during his tenure, and only wish he had done so on January 20th. Because of the highly politicized circumstances involving the Russia inquiry, I think an independent prosecutor would be advisable to place the inquiry above reproach. I believe it is equally important to appoint an independent prosecutor to purse the investigations that were swept under the rug during the Obama administration, including the use of the IRS to intimidate Tea Party members, the Clinton email scandal and how much top secret intelligence was lost to our enemies, and the unfolding scandal involving use of the NSA to spy on political opponents."

Rep. Scott Peters (D-La Jolla)
“Firing law enforcement officers who may be investigating you or your associates and then appointing their replacements is something that happens in dictatorships – not in the United States of America. This move from the President is breathtaking in its brazen disregard for the independence of our justice system.  Republican members of Congress who fail to stand up against this are complicit in this assault on our democracy.

“The founding fathers made Congress a check on the power of the Presidency. That check only functions when it is used without regard for political party. Congress – Democrats and Republicans – must stand up in a bipartisan defense of our institutions and insist that a special prosecutor be appointed before confirming a new director.

“Never before has it been clearer that the integrity of our democracy depends on an independent commission to investigate Russian interference in our election and a special prosecutor at the Department of Justice to follow an investigation to wherever – and whomever – it leads.  Anyone who stands in the way of an independent investigation denies the American people the answers they deserve.”

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa)
His office said he doesn't have a statement at this time.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles)
#Trump firing #Comey only intensifies the need for a thorough investigation of Trump's ties to #Russia. We must leave no stone unturned.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank)
"The decision by a President whose campaign associates are under investigation by the FBI for collusion with Russia to fire the man overseeing that investigation, upon the recommendation of an Attorney General who has recused himself from that investigation, raises profound questions about whether the White House is brazenly interfering in a criminal matter. While I had deep reservations with the way Director Comey handled the investigation into the Clinton emails which I made clear at the time and since, to take this action without addressing the profound conflict of interest of the President and Attorney General harkens back to a similarly tainted decision by President Nixon.

"The same President who has called the investigation into the Russian hacking of our democracy and the potential complicity of his campaign a ‘fake,’ cannot pretend to have made such a decision uninfluenced by his concerns over Comey's continued involvement in the investigation. It is more imperative than ever that an independent prosecutor be appointed to restore a modicum of public confidence – now completely lacking – that the criminal investigation will continue without further interference by the White House."

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks)
"#Trump fires #Comey. No reason given. What’s Trump trying to hide? More than ever, need #SpecialCounsel to investigate Trump and #Russia.
#Trump fired #Comey. Nixon fired Cox, Richardson, and Ruckelshaus. Didn’t work then, won’t work now. #SpecialCounsel
#Comey error slight. Emails got to Weiner laptop via “back-up of devices” rather than “forwarding of email.” What’s real reason for firing?"

Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin)
"This is not what an innocent person would do. Firing the guy investigating -- without cause -- is consciousness of guilt."

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena, District 5)
"The firing of FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Comey by the President Donald J. Trump once again shows the urgent need to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference into our 2016 elections."

Norma Torres (D-Pomona)
"Firing as he’s investigating ties b/w Trump campaign & Russia only raises more questions "

KQED News' Nina Thorsen, Scott Shafer and Ericka Cruz Guevarra contributed to this report.

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