WASHINGTON — Most of Georgia’s members of Congress dodged the spotlight in the hours after President Donald Trump’s surprise firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday evening.
With the House on recess this week, the majority of the state’s 14 congressmen avoided the media entirely on Wednesday, ignoring requests for comment or relaying through spokespeople that they were still processing the previous night’s news.
The latter was the line out of Sen. Johnny Isakson’s office on Wednesday. The Republican, who is undergoing physical therapy following a pair of back surgeries earlier this spring, was in Washington for the day for meetings and a committee hearing on veterans’ health benefits.
Georgia’s nine House Republicans all ducked, as did Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Sen. David Perdue was the only sitting lawmaker from the state to publicly defend Trump’s surprise move.
The first-term Republican said in a statement that Trump “acted decisively and within his authority” and that he stood behind him.
“The FBI is much larger than one person and the bureau has thousands of agents working hard every day to keep our nation safe,” he said. “I am confident a new permanent director will be nominated and confirmed as soon as possible.”
When asked by television reporters about whether the timing of Comey’s ouster raised questions, Perdue said “of course it does,” but pegged the responsibility on journalists to ask those questions rather than senators like him.
“That’s your job to ask that question and the White House will answer that,” he said, “but my point is let’s get on the with the investigation the (Senate Intelligence Committee) is doing and we’ll see how that works out.”
Democratic Reps. Sanford Bishop of Albany and Hank Johnson of Lithonia both lined up behind their party leadership in pushing for an independent commission to probe the Trump campaign’s contact with Russia.
“This is the only way to restore the American people’s trust and confidence in our justice system,” Bishop said.