Connect to Congress: Questions abound in Comey firing

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Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., speaks to Sinclair Broadcast Group on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Sinclair Broadcast Group)

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - A handful of U.S. senators gave a variety of reactions to Sinclair Broadcast Group regarding Tuesday's firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey by President Donald Trump.

  • Sen. John Hoeven, R-S.D.: "The president did it on the recommendation of Rod Rosenstein, who is the deputy attorney general who oversees the director of the FBI. That was his recommendation. The timing raises some questions about the investigation into Russia's interference in our election. So, that's why we really need to see the results of the investigation into what the Intelligence Committee is doing to get answers to some of those questions."
  • Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.: "There's been consensus on both sides of the aisle is that it was time for Comey to go. Six months ago, (Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer said he'd lost confidence in him. One of the reports from the letter of the [deputy] attorney general in letting him go said even [former Obama] Attorney General Holder had said that he had defied longstanding Department of Justice procedures. So, I think, really, beyond the hypocrisy of the moment, the Democrats now changing their mind, I think that everybody seemed to think that he botched the Clinton email investigation."

  • Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.: "It's actually laughable that they would try to justify the firing of FBI Director Comey based on his conduct in the Clinton investigation. I had concerns about the way he (Comey) did this, but if you're actually going to fire him for that reason, you would do it on day one of the new administration. And second, you would not have President Trump, right after the election, talking about how much Comey had done a good job in restoring and redeeming himself at the FBI."
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio: "You just don't fire the FBI director when the FBI director is investigating you. It's never been done like this. I think this will just give more impetus to a bipartisan investigation of what's happened with Russia. And we, we don't know yet. Most of us think that what Director Comey was fairly close to beginning to find some things in this investigation. We don't know that. But that seems to be the reason the president did what he did."

  • Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala.: "I was surprised like everyone else. I don't think it was expected. But now that I've had a chance to review the circumstances and read the report of Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, I think they made the right decision. I've got great confidence in Jeff Sessions, our attorney general, and I applaud the president's bold move."