Norton Says Congress Must Form Independent, Bipartisan Commission to Investigate Russian Interference Following Firing of FBI Director

May 10, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) released the following statement after the firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey by President Trump.

“In the same way Congress came together to form an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the time has come again for Congress to step forward to create a similar commission to investigate the attacks by Russia on our country during the 2016 election.  The 9/11 commission consisted of five Democrats and five Republicans.  Nearly four months after assuming office, and after praising Director Comey for his investigation of Hillary Clinton, President Trump’s abrupt and questionable firing of FBI Director James Comey—who recently testified to the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI was investigating Russian interference and potential links to the Trump campaign—has only increased the urgency of an independent commission, if the Congress is to maintain its integrity.  Congress passed legislation to require 10-year terms for FBI Directors in order to reinforce their independence from the presidency.  President Trump’s decision to abuse executive power to remove the man leading the investigation into Russian interference in our elections, including hacking of the Democratic National Committee and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, has created the ingredients for a constitutional crisis.  In our separation of powers government, the only branch now capable of ensuring a vehicle for an objective, investigation is Congress.  Yesterday’s firing of Comey ensures that the Trump Administration will not appoint a special counsel charged with an investigation that includes the administration.”

In 2002, Congress created the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission), which was “chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks.”