DPCC Co-Chair Hakeem Jeffries Calls for a “Full, Fair, and Independent” Investigation of Trump-Russia Ties

May 19, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Co-Chair of the House Democratic Policy & Communications Committee (DPCC), today joined CNN's Wolf Blitzer to discuss the Deputy Attorney General’s closed-door Congressional Briefing on the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and the need for an independent commission to investigate President Trump’s connection to Russia’s interference in our election. Below are excerpts from the interview and click here to watch the video

“[The Deputy Attorney General] was very guarded when it comes to the circumstances surrounding the termination of James Comey and that's important because it's quite possible that the President of the United States fired James Comey in order to obstruct a pending criminal investigation looking into the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

“We have to get to the bottom of what happened. Several members of the House pressed the Deputy Attorney General [on] the exact timing of when he knew that the President was planning on firing Comey [and on] who exactly asked him to write the memo which at least initially seemed to be the basis for the justification. [The Deputy Attorney General] declined to go into details.”

“If you're in a classified briefing, there's an opportunity to actually lay out some facts concerning a potentially troubling development. The possibility that obstruction of justice occurred or that the Trump Administration, Donald Trump himself perhaps, directed the writing of this memo in order to provide justification…for the termination, then Members of Congress, on behalf of the American people, deserve some facts.”

“Democrats have been pressing for our Chairman [of the Judiciary Committee] to assert some authority to provide Comey the opportunity to testify before the American people and explain, to the extent that he can, the interactions that he had with the Trump Administration as it relates to the unfolding criminal investigation. We're very concerned that the FBI…has been politicized in ways that could complicate the ability for that agency and the American people to ultimately learn truth as to what happened with Russia’s involvement in our election.”

“There's a cloud of illegitimacy and corruption hanging over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The only way for that to be removed is for us to have a full, fair, and independent investigation. The special counsel is likely to deliver that. There’s a balancing of interest that needs to occur. The American people deserve transparency about what took place, so at some point James Comey should testify.”

“We need an independent commission similar to what was done in the aftermath of September 11th so we can get to the facts as to what occurred; explain and communicate those facts to the American people; and most importantly decide how do we prevent the type of interference from a foreign power from ever occurring again. This was an attack on our democracy.”