The most powerful reactions to Trump’s abrupt firing of the FBI director

“We are in a full-fledged constitutional crisis.”

CREDIT: Screenshot, NBC News
CREDIT: Screenshot, NBC News

Tuesday night, President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, purportedly over his handling of the investigation over Hillary Clinton’s emails. Comey was leading an investigation into the Trump campaign ties with Russia.

In his letter to Comey, Trump wrote he greatly appreciated “you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation” but was firing him anyway. Trump did not detail why he and Comey were discussing an ongoing investigation into his campaign.

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CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin was gobsmacked that the Trump administration would try to justify the firing based on actions Comey took last year. “This is just the most preposterous pretext,” Toobin said. “This is an investigator who is investigating the White House, and he was just fired by the White House. This doesn’t happen in the United States, except on October 20, 1973, when Richard Nixon fired Archibald Cox.”

Cox was special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal, and when Nixon fired him, it was known as the “Saturday Night Massacre,” because both the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General also resigned rather than obey Nixon’s order to fire him.

Toobin went on to say that Comey’s successor will be a “stooge who will shut down the investigation.”

The ACLU condemned Trump’s actions, saying the firing “raises serious alarm bells for our system of checks and balances.”

Lawmakers were also shocked, with many calling for a special prosecutor to continue an independent investigation of the Trump administration:

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA):

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY):

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN):

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT):

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN):

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA):

Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT):

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT):

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR):

Sen Jeff Merkley (D-OR):

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ):

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA):

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA):

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY):

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI):

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA):

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD):

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA):

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV):