Sessions: Comey Should Have Been Removed ‘in a More Gracious Way'

Dallas congressman Pete Sessions, whose father was the last FBI director ousted by a president, said Wednesday that James Comey should have been allowed "to exit in a more gracious way."Texas GOP Rep. Sessions had invited Dallas Morning News Editorial Page Editor Keven Ann Willey to a meeting Wednesday over coffee to discuss congressional town halls, but their conversation quickly turned to President Donald Trump's firing of Comey late Tuesday. Comey was in Los Angeles speaking with FBI personnel when he learned from news outlets that he lost his job. Trump dispatched his personal body guard to deliver the termination letter to FBI headquarters in Washington.Below are highlights of the interview with Sessions.Was President Trump justified in firing FBI Director James Comey?"I always favor dialogue over firing." Sessions added that he would have preferred that Comey be allowed "to exit in a more gracious way." Still, Sessions said Comey should have corrected his comments before Congress last week more quickly. Comey testified that former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin forwarded hundreds and thousands emails to the laptop of her husband, former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner. Sessions said the actual number was much smaller and that Comey, who had counsel with him at the congressional hearing, should have corrected himself immediately, rather than waiting a day. "He overplayed that." Sessions said the president, in a face-to-face meeting, should have given Comey the opportunity to step down. That would have avoided the issue of "a firing." That word, Sessions said, is "a tag on a man who ... performed reasonably well and it got out of hand." Should a special prosecutor be named to assure independence in the ongoing investigation of the Trump administration's relationship with Russia?"I don't think at this point there is evidence to support" the naming of a special prosecutor. He said that both former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have had multiple opportunities to suggest one is warranted and have declined to do so. He said Yates never indicated in her testimony before Congress this week that there was any evidence of Russia-Trump issues: "I thought she was very straight forward." (In her testimony on Monday before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee looking into Russian interference in the election, Yates declined to comment on whether evidence of collusion exists, but she added explicitly that senators should not assume that because she can't talk about there is no such evidence.)  Continue reading...

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