Savage Truth: Comey ouster and special election

Not that voters needed another controversial issue in the runoff for Georgia's sixth district congressional seat, but the firing of FBI director James Comey landed right in the middle of it.

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic candidate for the sixth district seat, tweeted that Comey's ouster "raises severe questions" about the probe into whether possible Russian involvement in last year's presidential election helped Donald Trump win.

"There should be bipartisan support for a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference," Ossoff said.

Ossoff faces Republican Karen Handel in a June 20 runoff for the sixth district seat. Handel, a former Secretary of State, hasn't commented on Comey's firing, and she hasn't sought Trump support of her campaign, but she embraced his recent comments that sixth district voters should send Handel to Washington.

Trump fired Comey Tuesday, citing the FBI's investigation into last year's Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's alleged dissemination of classified information on her private email server while serving as Secretary of State.

There has been praise and criticism of the firing, mostly along party lines. Democrats, like Ossoff, are calling for a special prosecutor to continue the Russian probe. Without one, Democrats say the firing could be viewed as a cover-up of alleged wrongdoing.

On the other hand, some Republicans contend Comey had lost "public support and confidence" over his handling of the Clinton email investigation. The GOP faithful said Comey should've been ousted long ago.

Trump, never one to shy away from a fight or to counter punch his attackers, accused the Democrats of talking out of both sides of their mouths. Trump noted that some Democrats had been critical of Comey's performance and had questioned whether Comey was doing an adequate job.

The president also said Democrats and other critics would someday thank him for firing Comey.

In the November presidential election, Trump won Georgia's sixth district congressional vote by 1.5 percent. In the 18-candidate special election, Ossoff lead the field with 48 percent of the vote. Handel finished second with 19 percent.

Ossoff  has challenged Handel to six debate prior to the June 20 runoff. Handel said she'll be happy to debate Ossoff, adding it would give the candidates opportunities to discuss the campaign issues in public forums. But so far, there haven't been any debates scheduled.

How will Trump's firing of the FBI director impact the sixth district race?

Ossoff appears ready to attack Trump and Republicans who support the firing. His call for a special prosecutor will be heard throughout the district. Where Handel stands on the issue and how she responds to questions about the ouster could sway some voters.

But the runoff is 41 days away. The FBI issue isn't likely to fade during those 41 days. That, coupled with the possibility of other national issues creeping into the sixth district campaigns, means the anti-Trump faction that reared its head in the presidential election could be rear its head again in the runoff.

Expect Ossoff and the Democrats to keep the Comey issue alive and to push Handel for an anti-Trump response to it.

 

 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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