Politics

Town Hall Outrage Turns From Health Care to Comey Firing

Lawmakers hear from constituents about Trump’s dismissal of FBI director

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., told a town hall crowd that dynamics in Congress might change that could possibly lead to impeachment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Town hall audiences on Tuesday shifted their outrage from the Republican health care bill to the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Many of the questions were centered around health care and the vote last week by Republicans to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law and a number of Republicans had to defend the plan.

But when many attendees in town halls asked about Comey's firing by President Donald Trump, Republican members gave more tepid responses to the development on Tuesday evening.

In Iowa, Republican Rep. Rod Blum walked out of a town hall meeting in Cedar Rapids after boos and people yelling “do your job” in response to Comey's firing, KWWL reported.

“I think it was probably time for Comey to go,” Blum said. “The FBI has been way too involved in politics on both sides of the aisle.”

In Moneta, Va., Republican Rep. Tom Garrett declined to discuss the nature of Comey’s firing because it happened right before the meeting, the Roanoke Times reported. But he did offer faint praise for the former FBI director.

“I think as it relates to partisan rancor, Comey’s done a pretty good job ruffling feathers on both sides of the aisle,” Garrett said. “Candidly, that’s usually a pretty good indicator that somebody’s doing their job well, right?”

Similarly, New Jersey Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen praised Comey, but did not comment on the nature of the firing, NJ.com reported.

“I do think he was an honorable man and ran an amazing department,” Frelinghuysen told the audience. “I’m surprised that he’s gone, but I guess in this business, nothing is too surprising.”

Lawmakers Get An Earful On Comey at Tuesday Town Halls

Similarly, Virginia Rep. Dave Bratwas booed when he said committees in the House and Senate were looking into the Russia probe when asked about the need for a special prosecutor.

[Dave Brat Town Hall Gets Heated]

Protesters in California's 45th Congressional District staged a mock town hall in light of Republican Rep. Mimi Walters not hosting one, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Both of Walters' potential Democratic opponents, University of California Irvine professors Dave Min and Katie Porter attended the mock town hall.

Democrats, on the other hand, had receptive audiences in criticizing Comey’s firing.

The biggest applause at California Rep. Jared Huffman’s town hall meeting came when the subject of impeachment came up, KTVU reported.

Huffman said there currently were not enough votes to impeach Trump but that could change.

"We might be able to change the dynamics on the investigations that would lead potentially to an impeachment," he said.

— Bridget Bowman and Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.

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