Advocates To Donovan: Demand Independent Investigation Into Trump’s Alleged Russia Ties

Advocates To Donovan: Demand Independent Investigation Into Trump’s Alleged Russia Ties
‘Sound the alarm’ demonstration at U.S. Congressman Dan Donovan’s Dyker Heights office. (Photo by Mary Hetteix)

This week, news outlets have been abuzz with the breaking news that President Trump fired FBI director James Comey, for stated reasons that have changed from Comey’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to his “showboat” behavior.

But for many reporters, pundits, politicians, and neighbors, the timing of Comey’s firing raised suspicions, since the FBI director was in the midst of an investigation into Trump campaign officials’ alleged ties with Russia. Read more perspectives on the issue — from the political left and the right — here.

On Thursday night, some Bay Ridge residents ‘sounded the alarm’ with a demonstration aimed at U.S. Congressman Dan Donovan, New York’s only republican congressman who represents Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn.

Demonstrators’ stated goals were to call on the congressman “to issue an unequivocal demand that a special prosecutor be assigned to investigate President Trump’s ties to Russia.”

“The firing of FBI Director James Comey still manages to stand out as a stark example of the president’s efforts to conceal his relationships with a country that conspired to influence our election,” writes demonstrator Mary Hetteix.

Donovan, who is on the foreign affairs committee, issued this statement on May 10 in response to Comey’s firing:

“The President has the legal authority to dismiss the FBI Director, as Bill Clinton also did in 1993. I understand that the timing of the President’s decision raises natural questions about impartiality, and those questions must be answered. As a former prosecutor, I believe that a public servant with unimpeachable credentials and a career of independence – somebody like Ray Kelly – serving as FBI Director is critical to affirming the public’s trust.”

“He has stayed pretty quiet about it or makes a statement straddling the fence,” said Bay Ridge resident Amir Shani, who has been calling the congressman’s office to urge him to support the Protect Our Democracy Act.

“I’m not angry at the congressman, I’m frustrated and would like to see more action,” said Shani. “Let’s find out who was involved and do it in a way that the country can feel that it’s an honest investigation.”

Progressive groups in Bay Ridge have hosted a string of rallies so far this year outside of Donovan’s Dyker Heights office, including one demanding a live town hall, another for support of the Affordable Care Act in February, and for support of Planned Parenthood services.


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