WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), who serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in an Ex Officio capacity, today issued the following statement in response to the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey before the committee:

“Former FBI Director Comey’s testimony was a jarring and persuasive indictment of President Trump’s actions.  He clearly stated that he was  fired because President Trump thought that would somehow derail the investigation into Russia’s meddling in our democracy.  But Mr. Comey made the point that the FBI as an agency will not be deterred.  They’re going to keep investigating.  That is appropriate.  What the President did was highly inappropriate. 

“This is not and must not be viewed as a partisan issue.  During the presidential election, Russia attacked our democracy, and now the President’s campaign is under active investigation, including the possibility of criminal matters, by a Special Counsel.  The American people deserve the truth.

“Mr. Comey’s testimony under oath directly refuted the President, characterizing the Administration’s account of his firing as purposefully misleading.  There is no serious question as to Mr. Comey’s integrity, and it is increasingly clear that the President is not happy with the direction of the Russia investigation.  

“The threat of interference in our elections goes to the heart of our democracy, and we must not become accustomed to it.  The President must stop treating this investigation as a mere annoyance, and act in the interest of the American people to safeguard future elections.

“My colleagues and I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to follow the evidence wherever it may lead.  I also expect no less from Special Counsel Mueller, whom I believe will carry out his investigation with the same thoroughness and care that characterized his years of service in law enforcement.”