Republicans in Congress are facing a moment: They must either defend Trump’s decision to fire the man leading the investigation into his campaign, or side with those who have been calling for more open inquiries into the presidential campaign’s connections to Russia. Most in Republican leadership are keeping to the White House’s line.
But a handful of Republicans are expressing skepticism at Trump’s move — and some reactions have carried more consequence than the usual toothless slap on the wrist. Republicans generally haven’t joined Democrats in calling for a special prosecutor, but they still raised concerns about the president’s decisions and timing. And a few have gone far enough to say they will be looking for more answers, possibly through an independent commission to review Russia’s influence in the elections.
“Regardless of how you think Director Comey handled the unprecedented complexities of the 2016 election, the timing of this firing is very troubling,” Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse said in a statement. “As the chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee, I have reached out to the Deputy Attorney General for clarity on his rationale for recommending this action.”