Congressman Eric Swalwell said that President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey “should send a chill down the spine of every American, no matter who they voted for. This is not what an innocent person would do; this is an abuse of power, and shows a consciousness of guilt.”
Swalwell, a former Alameda County prosecutor, issued the statement on the afternoon of May 9, shortly after the Trump administration announced Comey’s firing.
In Swalwell’s statement, he writes that Trump’s motive in firing Comey relates to the FBI director’s investigation of Trump's possible close personal, political and financial ties to Russia. Cited was Comey’s look into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, its hacking of e-mails connected to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In firing Comey, Trump said that he acted on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a career prosecutor who is overseeing the investigation into Russian influence for the administration. Rosenstein wrote the memo to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who stepped aside from any role in the investigation. His decision was prompted by disclosures that he met twice last year with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak while the FBI was investigating Russia's attempts at disrupting the election. He later failed to disclose those encounters during his January confirmation hearing.
Rosenstein’s memo objected to Comey’s announcment that the FBI would not seek charges against Clinton over the e-mails.
Swalwell does not accept Trump’s account of why he fired Comey.
Swalwell said that Americans need to know what influence the Russians may have exerted, and “no one recommended by this administration can be trusted to oversee this investigation, and so the need for an independent bipartisan commission is now more urgent than ever.”
A bill sponsored by Swawell, HR 356, would appoint an independent, bi-partisan committee of 12 to investigate the potential Russian influence, and to find a way to prevent foreign interference.
Swalwell declared, "If the President thinks the firing of Comey will halt or even slow investigations into his and his associates’ conduct, he is sadly mistaken. The American people deserve to know what happened. Nobody recommended by this administration can be trusted to oversee this investigation, and so the need for an independent bipartisan commission is now more urgent than ever.”