WASHINGTON - (Updates with Walden comment)
Days after Oregon's two Democratic senators blasted President Trump's firing of James Comey as FBI director, Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., took a different, though somewhat subdued stance.on the controversial move.
Here's his full statement, issued Friday:
"FBI directors serve at the pleasure of presidents. Over the course of the last year, I've heard from thousands of Oregonians who have expressed strongly held opinions for and against Mr. Comey's actions.
"Whatever people think about Director Comey's removal, the critical point for me going forward is to ensure that the professionals at the FBI are empowered to continue to do their important work without political interference," Walden concluded.
First came Sen. Ron Wyden's statement, issued Tuesday, here in full:
“I have been long been a critic of Director Comey, for his views about surveillance and torture, his stance on secret law and his conduct during the investigation into Secretary Clinton.
"But Donald Trump’s decision to fire him now, in the midst of an investigation into Trump associates and their ties to Russia, is outrageous. Director Comey should be immediately called to testify in an open hearing about the status of the investigation into Russia and Trump associates at the time he was fired.
“There can be no question that a fully independent special counsel must be appointed to lead this investigation. At this point, no one in Trump’s chain of command can be trusted to carry out an impartial investigation.
“The president would do well to remember that in America, the truth always comes out.”
Later, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., issued a briefer but no less caustic reaction to the development:
“Trump’s explanation for firing Comey is as phony as a three-dollar bill. Trump’s pattern of firing people who are investigating him is downright Nixonian, and Members of Congress of both parties should treat it with the same gravity that our predecessors did during Watergate.”