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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

The Importance of an Independent FBI

May 15, 2017
Weekly Columns
President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey has predictably brought howls of protest from leading Democrats in Congress. To be fair, the timing and process of terminating Director Comey could have certainly been handled better, but the shameless hypocrisy of the Democratic leadership in Congress goes beyond the pale.
 
As recently as May, 2 2017, Hillary Clinton stated that because of the investigation into her use of a private server to conduct official, and sometimes classified, business that she would have won the election.
 
On November 2, 2017, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declared he had lost confidence in Comey. That same day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated that Comey might not be in the right job. In October, the Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid accused Comey of violating the Hatch Act. Just days before President Trump’s inauguration, Senator Bernie Sanders stated that Comey acted in an outrageous way during the campaign. And California Congresswoman Maxine Waters finally stated the obvious when she opined that if Hillary Clinton had won the election she would have certainly fired Director Comey herself.
 
After calling for his ouster and claiming he helped “steal” the election, this newfound outrage from Democrat leaders rings hollow. Moreover, it demonstrates that they are willing to overlook anything, including their own past statements, to oppose President Trump at every turn.
 
I believe Director Comey is a good and honorable public servant. And I believe any President has the authority and justification of hiring and firing the people who work in their administration. I also believe Director Comey did not handle the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s use of a private server in a perfect fashion. Similarly, the President and his team did not handle the Director’s dismissal in the most professional manner.
 
The selection of the next FBI Director is going to be critical for helping restore public trust. The investigation into the possible Russian interference in our election needs to be concluded and free from political influence from either Democrats or Republicans. If there are still outstanding issues related to Secretary Clinton’s use of an unauthorized server that also needs to be wrapped up.
 
The FBI is America’s preeminent law enforcement agency. As such, it needs to be led by a person of unquestioned character and completely divorced from partisan politics. President Trump made the tough decision to fire Director Comey. The decision as to who he appoints to succeed Mr. Comey is just as, if not more, important to the nation.