Newspapers Across U.S. Call For Special Prosecutor and Independent Investigation
May 11, 2017
After the firing of FBI Director James Comey major newspapers around the country are calling for a special prosecutor and independent investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential involvement in Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.
The Washington Post: How to clean up the Comey mess
It’s now obvious that Congress should empanel an independent commission to fully investigate Moscow’s hacking attacks and any Russian links to Mr. Trump and his campaign. The goal should be not merely to determine if anyone should be charged with a crime, but also to develop a complete picture of Russian capabilities and intentions, as well as recommendations for mounting a defense of U.S. democracy.
The New York Times: Trump’s Firing of Comey Is All About the Russia Inquiry
Given all that has happened — the firing of the F.B.I. director, on top of Mr. Trump’s firing of the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, and his dismissal of nearly all United States attorneys — the need for such a prosecutor is plainer than ever. Because Mr. Sessions is recused, the decision to name a special prosecutor falls to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose memo, along with a separate one by Mr. Sessions, provided Mr. Trump with the pretense to fire Mr. Comey.
USA Today: Trump firing Comey demands fuller explanation
The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian meddling was already tainted by the actions of its chairman, who appeared to be carrying water for the president. Now the FBI’s investigation is tainted, too, as Comey’s replacement will be named by the president whose associates are under investigation. If nothing else, Comey’s firing reinforces the need for a Watergate-style congressional committee, or a 9/11-style commission, to investigate the Russian connection, and a special prosecutor to deal with any related criminal issues.
The Virginian Pilot: What we need now: a special prosecutor
Given the existence of an active FBI investigation into this matter, the fact that the investigation includes people close to (or at least associated with) the president and now in light of the director’s dismissal, the issue needs a special counsel — someone of unimpeachable integrity and with full latitude to go where the evidence leads. Doubtless the president figures the future to be brighter without Comey in it. But Trump put nothing to rest by unloading Comey. To the contrary, this business will be front and center for long to come.
The Tennessean: Support independent Russia probe of Trump
While Comey’s clumsy handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation was cited as the reason for his firing, the timing, as Alexander noted, could not be worse. It gives the impression that Trump is willing to sacrifice the rule of law and silence anybody on his trail. Further, it is ironic that the morning after Comey’s firing, the president met with the Russian foreign minister. In April, Corker, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, told the USA TODAY NETWORK: “I view Russia as a nefarious actor in the world that is not working toward our interests, or in unison with our interests.” Both Corker and Alexander are calling for a new FBI director “of unquestioned integrity” who will make sure the investigations “are fulsome and free of political interference until their completion.” However, the Trump Administration has proven that it is incapable of investigating itself without conflict. While a fearless, relentless new FBI director is needed soon, senators should err of the side of an independent investigation.
The Arizona Republic: What Trump gained by firing Comey
McCain’s continuing push for a select panel to investigate Russia’s meddling is exactly what we expect from a patriotic American who understands the evils of tyranny. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the matter can be handled in the Senate Intelligence Committee instead. We think McCain has a better idea. This is not about partisan politics. It is not about firing the FBI director. It is about the integrity of our sacred national elections. Trump cannot dismiss that hard truth as easily as he dismissed Comey.
The Sacramento Bee: Trump firing Comey reinforces need for special prosecutor to investigate Russian ties
On Twitter this week, Trump claimed Comey was “the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton.” Is the administration now gunning for Clinton, never mind that she’s a private citizen? No matter what answers eventually emerge, doubt will cloud them, unless a special prosecutor can restore some semblance of justice. Given Sessions’ recusal, Rosenstein now must summon the will to appoint one, if he cares at all about his department’s – and this government’s – credibility.
St. Louis Post Dispatch: One inevitable conclusion about Comey’s firing: It was about Russia
There’s no escaping this conclusion: The president has now fired the man running an investigation into possible collusion between his aides and a foreign government that clearly interfered with the U.S. election. This may not yet be a constitutional crisis, but it could spark one and, by the way, short-circuit everything else on the president’s agenda. To avoid that, Trump must appoint a tough-minded, politically detached successor to Comey, not a lackey. Congressional Republicans must insist that their committee investigations into the Russia connection continue without fear or favor. Career professionals within the FBI will have to protect their work. The bureau’s reputation is at stake. So is the rule of law.
The Kansas City Star: In search of Republican profiles in courage on Comey’s firing
Republican officeholders, this is your chance. Act now and distinguish yourselves as among those rare politicians who do not need polling to tell them what they think. Yes, on both sides of the aisle we need more patriots and fewer party people. But at this particular moment, it’s you Republicans who control Congress, and you, too, who must take a stand on President Donald Trump’s highly suspicious firing of the FBI director who was heading the agency’s investigation into Team Trump’s possible collusion with the Russians who meddled in our election.
Akron Beacon Journal: From Russia with Trump? The question requires a special prosecutor
In the end, this isn’t about Donald Trump, something he doesn’t seem to get. This is about the integrity of institutions, about, yes, putting the country first via an investigation that uncovers the truth and wins public confidence. That requires a special prosecutor and, as this editorial page has argued before, an independent commission along the lines of the respected bipartisan panel in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The Columbus Dispatch: Independent Russia inquiry needed
What is needed is to restore public trust and confidence in an administration that has been battered by other high-profile firings, conflicts of interests and infighting. Amid this chaos, the need for an independent, nonpartisan and untainted investigation is plainer than ever.
The Denver Post: The Comey firing stinks; a special prosecutor is a must
Republicans in Congress should join Democrats in demanding a special prosecutor to settle the Trump-Russia question. And senators should make sure whomever Trump picks to replace Comey can stand up to the president’s Tricky Dick maneuvers. Getting to the bottom of the Trump-Russia situation is critical for our nation and for democracies around the world. Trusting the Trump administration to do so, at this point, would be futile.
Houston Chronicle: Ousting Comey: Trump's actions underscore the need for special attention on the Russia investigation.
The president's disregard for governmental norms underscores the need for an independent investigator to take over the Russia probe. It also requires GOP elected officials to put nation above party and treat with cold-eyed seriousness this president's willingness to abuse the powers of his office. U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, as well as Ohio Gov. John Kasich, have raised alarms, but they're among the lonely few, so far.
Dallas Morning News: After Trump's firing of FBI director, it's time for an independent investigation into Russian ties
Indeed it must. But it must be an independent inquiry. Trump should appoint a special prosecutor to finish the inquiry, or Congress should appoint an independent commission, on the model of the 9/11 commission. Trump must know that far more than merely the FBI's reputation is on the line now.