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Growing chorus of Republicans want Comey to testify
FBI Director James B. Comey is sworn in prior to testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (JIM WATSON — AFP/Getty Images)

A growing number of Republican lawmakers want to hear what James Comey has to say.

As reports swirled that President Trump had told the then-FBI director to nix the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, people in the president’s party want to see Comey answering questions at a congressional hearing under oath.

Among the Republicans calling for Comey’s testimony:

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.):

“It is important that Congress call the former FBI Director James Comey before the Judiciary Committee to obtain a full understanding of what President Trump may or may not have done regarding the Russian investigation, including General Michael Flynn.

“I’m hopeful we can reach agreement in a bipartisan fashion on how to move forward in a professional manner.  The country deserves answers to the questions raised and former Director Comey deserves an opportunity to be heard and if appropriate, challenged.

“The sooner Mr. Comey testifies publicly before the Judiciary Committee, the better for our nation.  For all practical purposes the political process will be ground to a halt by these allegations.”

Rep. Tom Cole, (R-Okla.): 

“I hope Director Comey will come and talk to Congress under oath. If he’s got a charge to make, make it. I’m tired of leaks and innuendos. I think it’s time to have real testimony.”

Cole brushed off talk of a special committee to investigate Trump’s actions, unless “there’s a charge made, that obstruction of justice occurred.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.):

“It’s inevitable now and inescapable — I thought he was going to have to do this anyway — but given what we read yesterday in a newspaper, Director Comey or former director Comey will have to testify before Congress, I imagine before the Judiciary Committee, and he’s going to have to turn over these notes and anything else that he kept, and we’ll go from there,” Rubio said on “Fox & Friends.”

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.):

Loudermilk said he wants Comey to testify and also wants to see the former FBI director’s memos. But he stressed “it’s being made a bigger deal than what it is. (Trump) doesn’t fit the model of a typical politician and that’s what the real issue is here. He’s a business guy and he wants to get things done.”

“Any legal scholar out there is going to tell you that is clearly not an obstruction of justice.”

He said Comey’s actions may be motivated by “sour grapes” after the director was fired.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, (R-Wis.) stressed Wednesday that legislators were still doing the work of the American people. He didn’t specifically call for Comey to testify but said legislators “need the facts.”

“We have an obligation to carry out our oversight regardless of what party is in the White House,” Ryan said.

Dave Weigel contributed reporting.

The latest on Trump, Comey and Russia: How key Washington players are reacting

The White House is searching for a new FBI director, after President Trump dismissed James Comey from that post May 9. Since the firing, The Washington Post broke the news Monday that Trump shared highly classified intelligence with Russian officials. And Tuesday, the New York Times reported and other outlets confirmed that Trump asked the FBI to drop its probe into then-national security adviser Michael Flynn and pursue leak cases.