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News Wednesday, May 10 2017

Editorial Boards Join Calls For An Independent Investigation Into Trump and Russia

May 10, 2017

Editorial boards across the country agree: Donald Trump’s decision to fire the FBI Director, who was investigating the Trump’s campaigns ties to Russia, was a partisan hit job designed to squash the investigation.  They also agree that a 9/11-style independent commission or similarly independent investigation led by a special prosecutor is needed to get to the bottom of Trump’s ties to Russia.

“The White House is without a doubt trying to cover up the growing Russia scandal and it look more and more as though Trump himself may be compromised,” said American Bridge spokesperson Sabrina Singh. “While Russian officials are literally laughing at us, the time for an independent commission investigating Trump is now. That’s they only way we can ensure accountability and uncover the truth about the White House’s attempts to obstruct justice.”

Below is a sampling of editorials across the country calling for an independent investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia:

USA Today Editorial: Trump firing Comey demands fuller explanation.

  • “If nothing else, Comey’s firing re­inforces the need for a Watergate-style congressional committee, or a 9/11-style commission, to investigate the Russian connection, and a special prosecutor to deal with any related criminal issues. FBI directors’ terms are set at 10 years to span presidencies and help ensure that the nation’s premier law enforcement agency remains independent from partisan politics.”

The Los Angeles Times Editorial: Absolutely nothing about James Comey’s firing passes the smell test

  • “Now that Comey is gone there are two urgent priorities that Congress must insist on in its oversight role. One is to preserve the integrity of the Justice Department investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election and the possibility of collusion between Russia and members of the Trump campaign. Because Sessions has recused himself from involvement in that matter, it’s up to Rosenstein to decide whether to appoint a special counsel to direct that investigation; he should do so immediately. The integrity of the investigation is in peril. Comey had a reputation for independence, and unlike Rosenstein or Sessions, he was not appointed by Trump.”

The Chicago Tribune Editorial: Trump’s firing of Comey looks like a politically motivated hatchet job

  • “Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation is certainly open to second-guessing, something Democrats may never tire of doing because Comey may have cost their candidate the election. But this instead looks like Justice or the White House using the Clinton case as a pretext for dumping Comey in the middle of his investigation of Trump associates. And remember: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said in a letter to Trump that he agrees with this decision, had recused himself from the Russia investigation. He should be nowhere near any action that now undermines public confidence in that case…. Americans who’ve demanded a full accounting of Russia’s meddling have to double down on that insistence.”

The New York Times: Donald Trump’s Firing of James Comey

  • “The American people — not to mention the credibility of the world’s oldest democracy — require a thorough, impartial investigation into the extent of Russia’s meddling with the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump and, crucially, whether high-ranking members of Mr. Trump’s campaign colluded in that effort.”

The Mercury News Editorial: Comey firing calls for a special investigator to follow Trump-Russia probe

  • “Republicans in Congress need to step up. They need to reach out to Democrats in a bipartisan fashion and establish an independent investigation to pursue the Russia probe that FBI Director Comey began. The investigation must be led by a universally respected person with the power to follow any links to President Donald Trump’s administration, before or since the election.”

Newsday Editorial: After Comey firing, Trump-Russia probe needs special counsel  

  • The nation now needs an independent counsel to continue the federal investigation of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump, and those trying to get him elected, were connected to that effort. The firing Tuesday of FBI Director James Comey, who was personally leading the probe, is troubling. The timing is shocking. The reason the White House cited is suspect.”

The Miami Herald Editorial: With FBI chief James Comey’s firing, democracy is officially in crisis

  • “It now falls to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to hack through the fog and distraction and appoint what Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer called a ‘fearless’ independent special prosecutor to conduct the Trump/Russia probe. Rosenstein himself will have to be fearless. In doing the president’s bidding, he recommended that Comey be terminated over how he disclosed information about the Clinton investigation last year. He must make clear whom he really serves — Americans — and confront this abuse of power by appointing a special prosecutor immediately.”

The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board: Nobody fooled by Trump’s excuse for firing James Comey

  • Now more than ever, Congress should appoint a tough special prosecutor to launch an independent investigation into the Trump administration and campaign’s ties to Russia…. The news of Comey’s firing hit hard and fast Tuesdayevening. The ramifications will take time to sort out. But our own first thought upon hearing the news was pretty simple: Trump thinks the American people are stupid. Time and again, the pesident trots out false facts and dubious assertions to explain away reality, and he’s doing so again.”

Boston Herald Editorial: A political lynching

  • “What is genuinely curious, of course, is the timing of all this — as the FBI continues its probe of connections between Trump associates and their Russian contacts, and during a week in which former acting Attorney General Sally Yates outlined the transgressions of now-fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Yep, payback is well . . . you know. Somewhere Vladimir Putin is doing his happy dance. Make no mistake this was a political lynching. And today the job of probing Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election cries out for a special prosecutor lest we truly become a banana republic.

The San Francisco Chronicle Editorial: Trump’s Tuesday night massacre

  • “In the past year, Comey has rankled Democrats and Republicans alike as he tried to navigate the politically fraught investigations of Clinton and Trump. Just last week, Clinton suggested that Comey’s Oct. 28 announcement that the FBI had received new evidence about her email server was a factor in her defeat 11 days later. This nation deserves to get to the bottom of the Trump-Russia investigation. It would be simply absurd to count on a new FBI director appointed by Trump — no matter who he or she is — to pursue the truth, no matter where it leads. This investigation needed an independent prosecutor even before this latest Trump move. It is now imperative.”

The Sacramento Bee Editorial: Trump firing Comey reinforces need for special prosecutor to investigate Russian ties

  • No matter what answers eventually emerge, doubt will cloud them, unless a special prosecutor can restore some semblance of justice. Given Sessions’ recusal, Rosenstein now must summon the will to appoint one, if he cares at all about his department’s – and this government’s – credibility.”

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune Editorial: After stunning Comey firing, Russia probe is at risk  

  • “Congress has dragged its feet until now, but it must face one indisputable conclusion — and quickly. It must appoint an independent prosecutor to conduct this investigation, one who is wholly divorced from and not answerable in any way to the executive branch. GOP lawmakers must also put aside — as their predecessors did decades earlier — their own squeamishness about taking action perceived as hostile to a president of their party. They must bring Comey in for detailed questioning about the circumstances surrounding his dismissal.”

Published: May 10, 2017

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