Democrats Aghast at Comey’s Firing, Despite Anger Toward Him


Below are the statements of several prominent Democrats as the drama at, and surrounding, the F.B.I. has played out.

Chuck Schumer

Nov. 2: After the F.B.I. said, 11 days before the election, that it was reviewing newly discovered emails that might have been related to the investigation into Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Schumer told Bloomberg News that Mr. Comey’s decision to send lawmakers a letter informing them of the matter was “appalling.”

“I do not have confidence in him any longer,” he said.

Now: “I told the president, ‘Mr. President, with all due respect, you are making a big mistake,’” Mr. Schumer said during a news conference on Tuesday night. “The first question the administration has to answer is, why now?”

Nancy Pelosi

July: Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, praised Mr. Comey as “a man of integrity and honesty,” as she defended the credibility of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Mrs. Clinton when it first drew to a close last summer.

“His finger is on the pulse of this,” she said. “Nothing happens without him, and I think he’s going to be the definitive person to make the determination or the recommendation.”

Nov. 2: Ms. Pelosi said in an interview with CNN that Mr. Comey had “made a mistake” by disclosing that the F.B.I. was reviewing additional emails, adding, “Maybe he’s not in the right job.” When pressed on whether he should resign, she demurred. “I think that we have to just get through this election and just see what the casualties are along the way,” she said.

Now: “The president’s sudden and brazen firing of the F.B.I. director raises the ghosts of some of the worst executive branch abuses,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement. “We cannot stand by and watch a cover-up of the possible collusion with a hostile foreign power to undermine American democracy.”

Team Clinton

July: As Mr. Comey testified on his decision to close the email investigation, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign sought to publicize his credentials.

January to March: After Mr. Trump’s unexpected victory over Mrs. Clinton, her allies blamed Mr. Comey for speaking publicly about the investigation just before Election Day.

Leading up to Mr. Trump’s inauguration, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Comey’s actions had squandered the F.B.I.’s “reputation for independence.” Robby Mook, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, said Mr. Comey’s credibility was “gone.”

Now: Mr. Fallon and Mr. Mook said that, their criticisms of Mr. Comey aside, his firing during the Russia investigation was significant cause for concern.

Dianne Feinstein

July: “The email review process was repeatedly distorted by Republicans for political gain with little care for the facts,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, said in a statement after Mr. Comey’s announcement that he was closing the Clinton case. “So I’m especially grateful to the F.B.I. and Director Comey — who previously served as a U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general during the Bush administration — for a thorough, objective review.”

Nov. 6: “Today’s letter makes Director Comey’s actions nine days ago even more troubling,” Ms. Feinstein said in a statement after the F.B.I. conceded that the matter was closed. “There’s no doubt that it created a false impression about the nature of the agency’s inquiry.”

Now: “The real question we face today is whether Director Comey was fired because of the Clinton email investigation — which could have happened in January — or whether he was fired because of the F.B.I.’s investigation of Trump connections to Russia,” Ms. Feinstein, who is now the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement.

“If Director Comey was fired to stifle the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation — and the timing of this action makes that a real possibility — that simply can’t be allowed to happen,” she said.

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