More than 40 protesters gathered outside U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt’s Kansas City office Friday to demand the senator support the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate possible links between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
Indivisible Kansas City, a progressive action group, originally planned to demonstrate against the GOP health care plan, but the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey this week changed that.
“It’s a threat to our democracy that the president has fired the person who was leading an investigation into him and his campaign,” said Hillary Shields, a 32-year-old paralegal from Lee Summit who helped organize the demonstration. “At this point, it’s becoming really obvious that Congress can’t be trusted to complete this investigation and the FBI can’t be trusted to complete it, and so it’s really time for a special prosecutor.”
Blunt, a Missouri Republican, said in a statement that his position has not changed. He said that the Senate Intelligence Committee “is the best place to determine the facts regarding Russian involvement in our elections.”
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Blunt said that finding “out exactly what the Russian government did or assisted in during our elections can help protect the democratic process in other countries as well as ours. In my opinion, it would take at least six months for any new investigation to get to where the Intelligence Committee is today, and the ability to work with the intelligence community would never equal the daily communications of our bipartisan committee.:
Blunt and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, both Missouri Republicans, have backed Trump’s decision to fire Comey. U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, both Missouri Democrats, have condemned the action and support appointing an independent prosecutor to investigate.
U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, a Republican whose district covers North Kansas City, has not responded to multiple requests for comment on the issue since Tuesday.
John Franklin, a 48-year-old autoworker who lives in Graves’ district, said that he has reached out to Graves’ office about the issue. “We can’t get a position,” said Franklin, who lives in Kansas City.
“All we want is to be heard and to make sure our representatives understand our position,” he said.