For Immediate Release

May 15, 2017

CONTACT:   Ian Jannetta – 202-228-0672

Van Hollen: Appointment of Special Prosecutor Must be First Step in FBI Director Replacement Process

“It’s really important to have a special prosecutor who cannot be fired by the President.”

“We have to have someone at the helm of the FBI who is not connected to partisan politics in any way.”

Washington, DC – Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen joined MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle to discuss the latest developments in President Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey. Excerpts of the interview are below:

“I think it’s very important that the first step be the appointment of a special prosecutor. That is the only way that the American public can have confidence in the justice system, because you now have the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General tainted as a result of how this firing of the FBI director went down. And it’s really important to have a special prosecutor who cannot be fired by the President. That is one thing that we know is essential because look what happened to Comey, look what happened to the other U.S. Attorneys like the U.S. Attorney up in New York who had been assured he would stay on, who… himself called for a special prosecutor in order to make sure we have some integrity in this process.”


“I think we have to have someone at the helm of the FBI who is not connected to partisan politics in any way. In my view that would mean it should not be somebody who is a current or former member of Congress. It should be somebody who is nonpartisan and somebody who has had a stellar career in law enforcement. Anybody who has been involved in politics in one way or another I believe will not meet the test of confidence with respect to an FBI director.”


“I don’t know whether there are any tapes, but we should absolutely demand that any tapes that may exist be handed over. Look, from the perspective of the public interest, I think either way the President has created incredible doubts. He apparently invited Comey over for dinner, he claims Comey wanted to come over. In the course of that dinner he essentially asked for a loyalty test while he’s interviewing the FBI director to see whether he will stay on or not. So it’s really important that we get to the bottom of that conversation. The tapes will be one way. Another thing that will be absolutely essential is to have former FBI Director Comey come testify on Capitol Hill, and it’s really important that at least part of that testimony be in open session… his testimony as to what happened in that conversation with Trump will be very important.”


“The decision now with respect to the hiring of a special prosecutor is in Rod Rosenstein’s hands, and that’s why it’s really important that he come down, that he answer questions. And people are going to ask him very directly to do that — to appoint a special prosecutor. Because he has, in fact, been tainted in this process by being used by the Trump Administration in the way that he was with respect to crafting the memo. Which was a pretext, we now know, because Trump planned to fire Comey all along.”