Colorado senators’ Comey reactions: “Extremely unsettling;” thanks for your service

Michael Bennet on Election Night 2016 at the downtown Denver Westin. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Reactions from Colorado’s federal elected officials are filtering in this morning following President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey.

Sen. Michael Bennet, the Colorado Democrat, unloaded on President Donald Trump this morning over the firing yesterday of FBI director James Comey, calling it “extremely unsettling.”

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, meanwhile, said: “I thank James Comey for his service,” as Kyle Clark reported.

Gardner didn’t criticize Trump for the firing, but he did agree that the FBI investigation into Russia and the U.S. election should continue and that the next FBI director, “like Comey, must be an independent voice for the bureau.”

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman, covering Aurora and neighboring areas, said in a statement that the firing was “quite a surprise” to him. He said Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email was “inappropriate,” but he said the “timing of the President’s decision” concerns him.

“I think it may create the appearance that Comey was fired due to his role in the investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

More from Bennet:

Bennet, the Democrat, said in a tweet that it’s “clear,” that Trump “cannot withstand the scrutiny,” adding that the firing is “extremely unsettling and the explanation is not believable.”

He added that it’s “unbelievable” that Trump “woke up one morning & fired Comey for actions from 10 months ago.”

Bennet called on the Senate to “only confirm an FBI Director who pledges a vigorous investigation of Russian interference & connections.”

Trump’s rationale:

A memo from Trump’s deputy attorney general had recommended the dismissal partly on Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The administration’s criticism said that Comey should not have made the July 5 announcement that the case would be closed, but also that he was out of line in disclosing the re-opening of the investigation just before the election, which likely benefitted Trump.

Trump’s actual letter of dismissal did not directly mention the Clinton investigation, instead saying: “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau.”

Politico, meanwhile, reports on anonymous sourcing that Trump “had grown enraged by the Russia investigation, two advisers said, frustrated by his inability to control the mushrooming narrative around Russia.”

Comey recently had requested more money and people for the Russia investigation, The New York Times reported.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.