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News Friday, May 12 2017

ROUND 3: Even More Editorial Boards Join Calls For An Independent Trump/Russia Investigation

May 12, 2017

Even more editorial boards across the country agree: Donald Trump’s decision to fire the FBI Director in the middle of his investigation into 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.

Below is a sampling of editorials that people across the country are reading today:

NEW-The Dallas Morning News Editorial: After Trump’s firing of FBI director, it’s time for an independent investigation into Russian ties 

  • “Trump should appoint a special prosecutor to finish the inquiry, or Congress should appoint an independent commission, on the model of the 9/11 commission.  Trump must know that far more than merely the FBI’s reputation is on the line now.” [Dallas Morning News, 5/10/17]

NEW-The Charlotte Observer Editorial: With Comey firing, day of reckoning has arrived

  • “A few things must happen immediately: an independent commission must be launched or a special counsel appointed, and a new FBI director above reproach and politics must be named.”

NEW-The Miami Herald Editorial: Appoint special counsel in Russia probe 

  • “His boss, President Trump, might not know it, but Rosenstein is in office to serve the interests of the American people and the law — in spite of ginning up the laughable rationale for firing FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday. He must either appoint a truly independent special prosecutor to bring credibility to the investigation into reputed connections between Trump’s associates during the 2016 presidential campaign or step aside, Democratic leaders have demanded, for someone in this increasingly compromised Justice Department who will.”

NEW-The Des Moines Register Editorial: Trump’s prior support clouds decision to fire Comey

  • “So far, the White House staffers have established a pattern of first refusing to answer questions on certain topics, and then, when those same questions are asked again, they insist they will not ‘re-litigate’ the issue, as if their silence had somehow put the matter to rest. Separately, the White House also needs to acknowledge the need for a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Russia and the 2016 election.”

NEW-The Houston Chronicle Editorial: Ousting Comey 

  • “We would hope Republicans would join Democrats in opposing the appointment of a successor to Comey, until the Justice Department appoints a special prosecutor, one who can assure the American people that he or she is totally independent of the White House and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The attorney general, a man caught in a lie about his own ties to Russian officials, has recused himself from matters related to the Russia investigation, although his recusal didn’t deter him from playing a central role in Comey’s firing.”

NEW-San Antonio Express-News Editorial: Reason for Comey firing transparent

  • “These are extraordinary circumstances that dictate a special prosecutor in the investigation.”

NEW-The Seattle Times Editorial: Congress must appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate Trump

  • “Leaders must not ignore the frightening precedent Trump has set. An independent prosecutor is needed.”

NEW-The East Oregonian Editorial: Trump and Nixon 

  • “Comey should testify before a bipartisan commission immediately. An independent investigator and/or special prosecutor — someone Trump cannot fire — must take on the dangerous burden of this investigation and see it to its conclusion.”

NEW-The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial: Time for President Trump to really put America first 

  • “It’s time for an independent investigation into the Trump-Russia accusations that would either put them to rest or put them in history books for ill and all time.”

NEW-The Boulder Daily Camera Editorial: Time for a special prosecutor

  • “Some members of Congress have it right: At this point, an independent special prosecutor must be appointed to carry out the Russia-campaign investigation.”

NEW-The Winston-Salem Journal Editorial: The Comey firing

  • “Today, many Americans are agreeing that one good thing may come of Comey’s firing: an independent counsel to lead this probe of Russian involvement in the 2016 president election, including possible collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. This matter is too crucial to our democracy for anything less.”

NEW-The Florence Times Daily Editorial: Independent probe needed on Trump-Russia ties 

  • “Democrats and an increasing number of Republicans are calling for independent counsel to continue the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election and whether that interference involved coordination with Trump associates. Trump’s termination of Comey, combined with Sessions’ enthusiasm in doing Trump’s bidding, makes it clear this should no longer be a partisan issue. Americans need a thorough investigation untainted by White House pressure. That can’t happen until an independent counsel is appointed.”

NEW-The Santa Rosa Press Democrat Editorial: Firing of James Comey underscores need for special prosecutor

  • “Given all of that, we join those, including dozens of senators and representatives, who are calling for the naming of a special prosecutor to lead an independent investigation into those connections. The extensive intelligence about Russia’s influence, the gravity of the stakes at hand — possible collusion with a foreign power to alter the outcome of a presidential election — and the growing evidence of White House indifference to these connections and potential obstruction, as shown by Trump’s decision to fire Comey, demand an independent investigation.”

NEW-The Columbus Dispatch Editorial: Independent Russia inquiry needed 

  • “The firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, amid an investigation into whether associates of President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election, raises grave doubts as to the future of a credible effort. It could not be clearer that the time has come for the appointment of a special prosecutor or an independent commission — despite Senate Republican leaders saying Wednesday one is not needed for what is a counterintelligence, not a criminal, investigation.”

NEW-The Santa Maria Times Editorial: The odor of Trump politics 

  • “It seems abundantly clear that the Trump administration should be subjected to a full-on, independent investigation, with just about every player in the president’s inner circle of advisors included. Trump has demonstrated through years of appearances on network TV that he enjoys firing people, but in the case of the Comey dismissal, the Commander in Chief needs to more completely explain just what it is that Comey was doing incorrectly.”

The New York Times: Trump’s Firing of Comey Is All About the Russia Inquiry

  • “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.”

USA Today Editorial: James Comey is now a GOP problem.

  • “Leaders on both sides of the aisle owe Americans assurances that an impartial and independent inquiry will get to the bottom of any possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.”

The Washington Post Editorial: How to clean up the Comey mess. 

  • “It’s now obvious that Congress should empanel an independent commission to fully investigate Moscow’s hacking attacks and any Russian links to Mr. Trump and his campaign. The goal should be not merely to determine if anyone should be charged with a crime, but to develop a complete picture of Russian capabilities and intentions, as well as recommendations for mounting a defense of U.S. democracy.”

The Hartford Courant Editorial: Special Counsel Needed On Russia/Trump Campaign Ties. 

  • “Plenty of people on both sides of the political aisle were unhappy with FBI Director James Comey. But the timing of his firing Tuesday is suspicious enough to justify calls for an independent counsel to carry on the work he was evidently fired for overseeing.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial: Dismissal of FBI Director James Comey reinforces need for independent investigation.

  • “Republicans and Democrats calling for an independent investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia have it right. With President Donald Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director James B. Comey, only an outside investigation can carry the credibility that will earn the trust of the American people. This can no longer be left in the hands of the FBI or Trump’s Justice Department.”

The Detroit Free Press Editorial: Needed: A Trump-proof Russia inquiry.

  • “If there was any lingering doubt about the U.S. Congress’ obligation to launch its own investigation — led by an independent overseer the president cannot fire — it vanished when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had publicly vowed not to interfere in any investigation related to the 2016 presidential campaign, urged Trump to fire the FBI director in charge of the probe.

The Baltimore Sun Editorial: Comey firing trumps all excuses not to appoint a special counsel

  • “Any Republican members of Congress who want to salvage what reputation for integrity their party has need to speak up and demand a select committee investigation as well. Nothing less than the public’s confidence in the rule of law is at stake.”

The South Florida Sun Sentinel Editorial: After James Comey firing, independent investigation’s a must

  • “If Congress wants to maintain some semblance of trust with the American people, it will call for a special prosecutor to investigate possible Russian collusion. While the FBI will continue its investigation without Comey, it’s no longer possible to view it as impartial when Trump will appoint the new FBI chief.”

The Buffalo News Editorial: Comey firing must not sidetrack investigation of Russian meddling 

  • “Intended or not, President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey is likely to choke off the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s cyberattack on November’s election. For reasons that can begin and end at patriotism, that investigation needs to continue, but it cannot be led by anyone under the president’s thumb. An independent investigator needs to be appointed.”

New York Daily News Editorial: Trump’s burden of proof on Comey firing: The President’s sudden and suspicious termination decision 

  • “Only a truly independent criminal-justice heavyweight can run the nation’s top law enforcement agency in the age of Donald Trump.”

The Syracuse Post Standard Editorial: Appoint an independent prosecutor to finish the job Comey started

  •  “The FBI director serves at the pleasure of the president, so Trump was within his rights to fire Comey. But the investigation must proceed. The Department of Justice or Congress should appoint a special prosecutor to continue it. The Senate must put politics aside to make sure Comey’s replacement is no puppet of the president.”

Tampa Bay Times Editorial:Trump’s firing of Comey reaffirms need for special prosecutor

  • “The president claimed that he lost confidence in Comey for the FBI director’s handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton, after months of cheering him on, and he has fired the man overseeing the investigation into whether Trump’s allies collaborated with Russia’s efforts to tilt the election in his favor. An independent investigation by a special prosecutor is the best hope for restoring public confidence in government that has been badly shaken.”

The Bergen County Record Editorial: After Comey’s firing, bring in special counsel

  • “While career FBI agents will continue to do their jobs, the person at the top matters. And if the person at the top can be fired at will by the president, possibly because he is investigating the president, that matters to all Americans. It’s not just about the Russians anymore. It’s about our democratic system of government. Since Sessions has recused himself, Rosenstein should appoint a special prosecutor, and the president must support that choice. An independent inquiry is essential.”

The Mercury Editorial: After Comey firing, now what? Independent investigator is a necessity

  • “The best — perhaps the only — way to get answers now is for Congress to hire a special investigator. Republicans have heretofore balked at that notion, in part out of deference to President Trump. Yet they must realize the need for an independent prosecutor who has no ties to and does not in any way answer to the president.”

The Virginian-Pilot Editorial: What we need now: a special prosecutor

  • “With Sessions’ ostensible recusation from the Russia matter, hiring someone to lead an independent investigation now falls to Rosenstein. Rosenstein in March resisted the calls to appoint such a person, which followed Sessions’ decision to recuse himself. But that increasingly looks like the best, and perhaps the only, path forward.”

The York Dispatch Editorial: Time for clarity on Russia 

  • “All the more reason for Congress insist — demand — that the probe be carried out, as Casey recommends, by an independent prosecutor. And to Republicans in Congress, that means putting country above party for a change. The stakes are too high.”

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune Editorial: Russia inquiry needs special prosecutor 

  • “President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey isn’t the reason that warrants appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. presidential elections. The dismissal is just the latest of many reasons for an independent evaluation of meddling by Russians and their links to the Trump campaign and members of the president’s administration.”

The Albany Times Union Editorial: A threat to the republic 

  • “Yet the very murkiness of this mess demands Congress resist its partisan impulses, confront the president, and insist on an aggressive, independent investigation — either by a fully bipartisan select committee, an independent special prosecutor, or an independent commission.”

The Akron Beacon Journal Editorial: From Russia with Trump? The question requires a special prosecutor

  • “The president would have helped himself, putting his bluster to the test he claims he easily would pass, by joining the dismissal with the appointment of a special prosecutor.”

The Peoria Journal Star Editorial: After Tuesday Axing, special prosecutor needed to look into Russian allegations

  • “The president says this decision was necessary to restore ‘public trust and confidence’ in the FBI. Maybe. But has he simultaneously undermined ‘public trust and confidence’ in his own White House? This not only bolsters the case for a special prosecutor, it begs for it.”

The Denver Post Editorial: The Comey firing stinks; a special prosecutor is a must 

  • “Certainly, Trump is within his rights to fire the director. But the standard for removing such a high-level law enforcement official has been much higher for past presidents. Republicans in Congress should join Democrats in demanding a special prosecutor to settle the Trump-Russia question.”

The Omaha World-Herald Editorial: Investigation into Trump’s possible Russia ties must proceed 

  • “Possible interference by a foreign power in the election of our chief executive raises great concern. A strong investigation is fully warranted, regardless of whether a sitting administration finds it politically inconvenient.”

The Erie Times-News Editorial: Independent Russia probe is needed 

  • “We join with Pennsylvania’s Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, who on Tuesday called for the appointment of an independent counsel to pursue the Russian election-meddling probe.”

The Tribune-Star Editorial: Independent probe now essential 

  • “A special prosecutor and independent commission to be appointed to complete the FBI investigation into Trump campaign contacts with the Russians. That is the only acceptable way forward.”

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 Tuesday evening. 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 president 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 12, 2017

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