Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today delivered remarks before the Judiciary Committee on the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the committee’s investigation into the matter:
“The scope of this matter today is much broader than when the Intelligence Committee started its work, and the Judiciary Committee should take the lead on the components where we have the jurisdiction and the expertise,” said Senator Feinstein.
Senator Feinstein’s full remarks follow:
“Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. Let me begin by thanking you for working with me, with Senators Graham and Whitehouse, on joint requests to the White House and the FBI, to obtain memos, recordings and any other documentation that will shed light on the interactions between former Director Comey and President Trump.
I’d also like to thank you for inviting Director Comey publicly to testify before this committee. I think it’s very important and that you did the right thing and I was happy to cosign the letter with you.
It has been exactly nine days since former-FBI Director Comey was fired and in that short period of time, there have been significant revelations regarding why he was fired—and there’s still much that we don’t know.
Specifically, questions have been raised not only about the reasons Comey was fired, but also about: whether the FBI has been able to act independently of the chief executive; or whether there have been efforts to impede or delay any ongoing investigations.
We, after all, are the committee of primary jurisdiction over the FBI and Justice Department. In addition, our committee has, on both sides, a strong staff of lawyers with extensive experience. We have prosecutors, investigators, government attorneys who have decades of experience.
To be clear, there are also many questions about Russia’s interference in our election and any ties to the Trump campaign and administration.
As a member of the Intelligence Committee, I support its investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election as well.
That committee is reviewing intelligence, counterintelligence concerns—including links between Russian and campaign officials, cyber activity and active measures.
But the scope of this matter today is much broader than when the Intelligence Committee started its work and the Judiciary Committee should take the lead on the components where we have the jurisdiction and the expertise.
Finally, I’d like to say how pleased I am that Bob Mueller has been appointed special counsel.
There’s no person better for this job than Bob Mueller. He’s independent. He’s incredibly smart. And he’s well-respected on both sides of the aisle.
He’s served in various roles at the Justice Department—including U.S. attorney—as FBI director for 12 years. As such, he has experience and, most importantly, trust to lead this investigation.
Mr. Chairman, your leadership has helped us move forward, to get the facts and to do our job. And that’s invaluable.”