Blumenthal calls for investigation into president's ties to Russ - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Blumenthal calls for investigation into president's ties to Russia

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal told Anderson Cooper that Trump impeachment hearings were possible. (CNN photo) Sen. Richard Blumenthal told Anderson Cooper that Trump impeachment hearings were possible. (CNN photo)

Unfazed by the president's comments on Twitter, one of Connecticut's senators continued to slam him.

After Sen. Richard Blumenthal said impeachment hearings were possible following the President Donald Trump's firing of FBI director James Comey, said that the whole situation sounds like a coverup.

Blumenthal addressed the media about what he called a "mounting constitutional crisis" at noon Friday in Hartford. 

"These last 24 hours have raised chilling facts that imply serious questions about improper influence and interference,"  Blumenthal said. 

Blumenthal called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others to go before the Judiciary Committee to clarify what happened with Comey.

"That's a good first step," Blumenthal said. "But there must be an open, transparent process for James Comey's firing."

He called what happened potentially an "obstruction of justice."

Blumenthal said Trump asked for Comey's loyalty at a dinner and that Comey refused. Blumenthal said the president was furious as a result.

"To ask the FBI Director to pledge loyalty to the President is absolutely improper. Most especially when there's an ongoing investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing involving the President," Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal also said Comey asked for additional resources for the investigation into potential Russian meddling of the 2016 election. Blumenthal said that alone implied that the FBI's investigation was expanding. He continued his calls for an independent prosecutor to look into the case.

"We heard it most authoritatively from the deputy director of the FBI, but whatever his thoughts may be, Director Comey is a professional prosecutor," Blumenthal told CNN on Thursday. "And I may have disagreed with him, and I did on a number of occasions, but firing him raises the specter of a cover-up and we face a looming constitutional crisis because of the loss of trust and confidence in our justice system."

Right now, Blumenthal said there's no evidence that president trump did anything that would cause an impeachment. In fact, unlike in times past, the senator didn't even use the word today.  Kathleen Mullin, a constitution professor at the University of Saint Joseph, said the potential for an impeachment hinged on Comey's investigation.

“If there was collusion there, that would amount to an impeachable offense,” Mullin said.

Based on the New York Times report, Mullin said there's another. 

“It is almost in my mind, akin to a bride. Answer the question the way I want you to or you will lose your job,” Mullin said. “That to me is the highest level that you can have for alert and possible obstruction of justice.”

While Blumenthal is looking for a special prosecutor, Mullin said it most likely won't be granted. She points out Blumenthal sits on the judiciary committee and that wields power when it comes potential recordings.

“Those tapes would belong to the federal government. The Judiciary Committee can subpoena them,” Mullin said. 

Comey's dismissal on Tuesday came in the middle of the FBI's investigation into allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign during the 2016 election.

It raised concerns that the White House was trying to interfere with the investigation.

However, the White House has insisted that it wants to see the probe come to its conclusion with integrity.

Trump said he was assured multiple times by Comey that he was not under investigation.

He also said it was his decision regardless of the investigation.

Blumenthal spoke to CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night about what could come next.

"It is a looming constitutional crisis because it involves a potential confrontation as did Watergate between the president and other branches of government, and it may well produce another United States versus Nixon on a subpoena that went to the United States Supreme Court," Blumenthal said. "It may well produce impeachment proceedings although we're very far from that possibility and right now the President has not been charged, and there is an investigation under way which should be given the kind of integrity and independence that it deserves."

Trump and Blumenthal exchanged barbs on Twitter earlier in the day after Blumenthal discussed the implications of the Comey's firing with the media.

Trump took aim at Blumenthal's military history and prior statements where Blumenthal said he served in Vietnam.

He was in the marine reserves in Washington during the war and admitted in 2010 to misrepresenting his service.

Blumenthal responded by calling him a bully and that the tweet would not silence his calls for an independent prosecutor and investigation.

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