As the fallout from the unexpected firing of James Comey on Tuesday continues to rock Washington, Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) suggested a new job for the ousted FBI director: leading the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.
“I think the intelligence committee ought to hire James Comey to direct our investigation,” King said during a Wednesday morning appearance on CNN’s New Day. “I’m going to float that today and see what kind of reaction I get.”
King, who sits on the committee, argued that Comey would be a good fit for the position. “Already got his clearances,” he said. “Knows the subject. Man of integrity.”
Comey was scheduled to speak before the committee on Thursday. With his abrupt termination, it is unclear if he will still appear.
In the hours since Comey’s firing was first announced, Senate Democrats have suggested that the president’s decision was motivated by the FBI’s ongoing Russia investigation and have called for a special prosecutor or counsel to take over the investigation in Comey’s stead. Some Senate Republicans have also voiced their discomfort with the timing of Comey’s dismissal, although top Republican leadership has yet to join calls for an independent investigator.
King acknowledged that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—who sent the memo that advised the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Comey—does have the ability to appoint a special counsel to handle the investigation, but he said he is unsure if an appointment from the Justice Department “rises to the level of restoring public confidence in this process.”
“If the administration doesn’t have anything to hide, they ought to be cooperating and helping,” King said. “Otherwise, this issue is going to dog them for years.”