U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, both Tennessee Republicans, have noted the questionable timing of President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Corker said in a prepared statement:
While the case for removal of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey laid out by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein was thorough, his removal at this particular time will raise questions. It is essential that ongoing investigations are fulsome and free of political interference until their completion, and it is imperative that President Trump nominate a well-respected and qualified individual to lead the bureau at this critical time.
Alexander had a similar sentiment and said the firing would be easier to explain if Trump had done so earlier when Democrats said they’d lost confidence in Comey.
“Given the timing, it’s imperative that the Senate, through its confirmation process, makes certain that the new FBI director is a person of unquestioned integrity who can lead the FBI and can continue investigating Russian involvement in our elections,” Alexander also said.
Comey was leading the investigation into whether the president’s advisers engaged with the Russian government in an effort to affect the 2016 election.
The move immediately drew comparisons to President Richard Nixon and Watergate.
Countless news outlets also noted how Trump had previously praised Comey, who spoke out about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s email scandal 11 days before the election.