Connect to Congress: Bipartisan calls for 'facts first' in Comey memo
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - As the fallout from reports that former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey wrote a memo alleging President Donald Trump asked him to end the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn continues, members of the U.S. House of Representatives' pleas to not rush to judgment before getting the facts was bipartisan.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee invited Comey to testify publicly at a hearing on Wednesday.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., told WWMT-TV on the invite, "It’s my understanding that the House Government Oversight Committee is having former Director Comey testify next week, likely to be under oath. We want to get tough questions from both sides, want to get the answers and then figure out where do we go from here."
Oregon Democrat Kurt Schrader added to KATU-TV that, so far, all lawmakers have to go on are news reports.
"I, for one, want to see what the information really is. I mean, this is a news report, with all due respect. I want to get all the facts before we jump in the deep end and level accusations," Schrader said.
Republicans echoed Schrader's sentiment on basing judgments on just news reports.
Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., told WPMI-TV, “We’re going on, basically, hearsay in an unattributed person in a newspaper article. That’s really not the best way to get to the bottom of this. Let’s get the actual document before the appropriate congressional committee and let’s see what it says.”
“What I don’t want to do is grasp on every anonymous report or every leaked piece of information, without knowing whether or not it’s truthful," Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., told WEAR-TV. "So, we’ve got to get to the facts first and then we’ve got to go wherever those facts lead us.”
While some may consider the growing controversies surrounding the Trump White House a victory for those who advocated against his election, one Democrat says:
"This is something nobody should celebrate, frankly," Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., told WJAR-TV. "This is the president of the United States potentially engaged – if this statement is true, this story is true – engaged in obstructing an investigation in trying to prevent the FBI from doing its job. This is very serious.”
The Justice Department has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller - who served with Comey when he was deputy attorney general at the Justice Department under former President George W. Bush - as a special counsel for the Trump-Russia probe.