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Gov. Abbott: Untrustworthy Comey Worked for 'Political Outcomes' – Not 'Justice'

Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg on Facebook Live

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Thursday, 11 May 2017 01:38 PM

It is "grossly premature" to appoint a special prosecutor to probe alleged ties between the Donald Trump's presidential campaign staff and Russia, Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, told Newsmax TV.

Abbott backed Trump's decision to fire FBI director James Comey, who had been seeking to expand his investigation into Russia's tampering in last November's election and whether Trump's campaign staff was involved.

"Frankly, it's not all that surprising, and it's fairly predictable. . . . There was bipartisan support and agreement that Congress and the executive branch had lost trust in FBI Director Comey," Abbott told Newsmax's Steve Malzberg on Thursday.

"Maybe the timing caught people by some surprise, but everyone was almost in unanimous agreement that Comey had lost their trust."

While Democrats and some Republicans are calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor in the wake of Trump's firing of the federal lawman who was investigating him, Abbott called the suggestion "grossly premature."

"We need to see who is going to be selected as the next FBI director. Rumor is this morning that it's going to be someone with a longstanding history in the FBI who will be highly regarded, and it's someone who will engender trust in both the House and the Senate," Abbott said.

"It's my understanding that a solid FBI professional will be selected. . . . Hence, I think the calls for a special investigation will dissolve – except among the most partisan folks up there in Washington, D.C."

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What in Abbott's opinion caused lawmakers to lose faith in Comey's leadership of the agency?

"It seemed as though his actions and his words were a little bit more political than what we've seen historically from FBI directors," Abbott said.

"And so it raised a whole lot of questions about was the FBI director working in ways that pointed toward political outcomes as opposed to just ensuring that justice is done."

One example, Abbott said, was Comey's announcement last July the FBI would not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of state and "no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."

"[It] is the FBI director's job is to undertake these investigations. The FBI director is not a prosecutor, not the U.S. attorney, not someone who will take a case to court," Abbott told Malzberg.

"So, he supplanted a role of the attorney in this process, and that was one of the factors that caused Congress and the executive branch to lose trust in the FBI director because he went beyond the bounds of what his traditional role is."

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It is "grossly premature" to appoint a special prosecutor to probe alleged ties between the Donald Trump's presidential campaign staff and Russia, Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, told Newsmax TV.
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