Sherrod Brown says he’s not ready to say Trump obstructed justice

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, says he’s not ready to climb onto the bandwagon of people claiming President Donald Trump committed an impeachable offense by allegedly asking FBI Director James Comey to quit investigating fired National Security Director Michael Flynn and his ties to Russia.

“I am not willing to say its obstruction or justice or an impeachable offense,” Brown said Wednesday.

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The New York Times reported Tuesday that Trump asked Comey to shut down the Flynn investigation before firing him.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., has said if the reporting is accurate — the White House denies it — Trump may have committed an impeachable offense. He is one of two Republicans to sign onto a Democratic bill calling for a 12-member bipartisan independent commission to investigate the Trump campaign’s links to Russia. All four Ohio Democrats — Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Columbus; Tim Ryan, D-Niles; Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo; and Marcia Fudge, D-Cleveland, have also cosponsored the bill.

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., was the other Republican to support that bill.

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Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Congress needs “to get to the bottom” of the allegations against Trump.

He said he supports Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz’s request for documents related to Trump’s interactions with Comey.

“But Congress cannot allow this to keep us from doing what we were sent here to do,” Jordan said in a statement posted on Facebook. “We need to fully repeal Obamacare, and we need to reform the tax code so Americans can keep more of their hard-earned money.”

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“Let’s get the information, let’s get the facts and then let’s move on from there,” Jordan told CNBC. “No one’s ever accused me of going easy on my own party. I’ll follow the trail. I’ll follow the truth. I’ll follow the facts. But let’s get those first before we start determining and jumping to conclusions and having all these hypotheticals.”

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, said he did not believe there should be an independent commission or prosecutor.

“I think the Constitution says that’s Congress’ duty and Congress should be assertive and aggressive,” he said, saying the investigations should be left to congressional committees with oversight on the issue. “If at the end of their investigations that that’s their conclusion that there’s a crime that has been committed or something else, then that’s the process I think we need to let due process take its course.”

Davidson said that he believed it was impossible for Trump to have “trust” with the people he works with each day. He said he was concerned that so many staff felt comfortable talking with the press.

“Fundamentally, they have to have a team,” he said.

As president, Trump should be trusted with intelligence, Davidson said. “The people of the United States of America trusted him with that responsibility and we’ll see how things move forward,” he said.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also cautioned against a rush to judgment.

“We need to get the facts here,” said Portman. “And if this memo exists, it should be turned over to Congress immediately so that our committees can conduct the proper oversight.”

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