Murkowski: ‘May’ Be Time For Independent Probe On Trump-FBI-Russia

May 17, 2017 1:54 p.m.

Expressing concern about “the continuous and often conflicting reports” involving President Donald Trump and Russia, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on Wednesday voiced support for an independent investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election.

Murkowski joins a small but growing number of Republican lawmakers expressing openness to either an independent commission or special prosecutor.

“I still maintain that the Senate Intelligence Committee should continue conducting a thorough and fair investigation,” Murkowski said in a statement. “At the same time, it’s imperative that we—Congress, the FBI, the Administration—work to restore the public’s trust. In order to gain that credibility, it may be that we need to look to an independent commission or special prosecutor.”

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The Alaska senator’s call comes in the wake of a bombshell New York Times report detailing a memo fired FBI Director James Comey allegedly wrote about President Donald Trump’s personal plea to kill the bureau’s investigation into fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump dismissed Comey last week. His administration has offered a wealth of contradictory explanations for Comey’s removal, including his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, focus on the Russia probe, and a desire for new leadership.

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Dean Heller (R-NV), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), as well as a number of House Republicans and dozens of Democratic lawmakers, have said an independent investigation is needed.

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