Local lawmakers react to Comey firing

Posted at 5:19 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 17:26:22-04

Congressman Elijah Cummings reacted swiftly to the latest details in FBI Director James Comey’s firing.

"For the president to have invited Director Comey to dinner, and I know there's the president saying one thing and Director Comey saying another, but then to talk about his tenure as director of the FBI, and also talk about an ongoing investigation or question him is just something that should never be done."

But Cummings is closer to the story than most lawmakers on Capitol Hill because he is closer to the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who finds himself square in the middle of the national media firestorm.

Cummings says he sent a letter his state's old top prosecutor.

"All of this, the American people deserve better. And that's why this morning I sent a letter to the Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Rosenstein, asking him to look into the issue of whether we do need a special prosecutor, and the question of whether there has been a true adherence to the recusal that secretary sessions said that he was doing in regard to the Hillary Clinton matters and to President Trump and the Russian matters," Cummings said.

And today in West Baltimore, Senator Chris Van Hollen echoed the senior congressman as he, too, is familiar with Rosenstein's career in Maryland and is disappointed in his apparent role of Comey firing.

"In my view the Trump administration used, really abused Rod Rosenstein's reputation for being a straight shooter. Unfortunately he allowed himself to be used in that process," the senator said.

But the lone republican representing Maryland on Capitol Hill has a different take on the firing of the FBI director.

Unavailable for comment today, Representative Andy Harris pointed us to a statement earlier in the week which says, “The recommendation to terminate Director Comey came from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a man committed to justice and widely respected by his peers. I trust the judgment of Mr. Rosenstein, and I believe the president and attorney general should choose a director in whom they and the American people have full confidence."

The president himself reversed course on Rosenstein being the sole reason Comey was fired.

In an interview last night, Trump said he made the decision before any recommendation by the former Maryland U.S. Attorney.