UPDATE: Knight addresses Russia investigation concerns, opponents respond

Congressman Steve Knight listens to constituent questions as an attendee raises her hand during a town hall at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Center in Simi Valley on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) spoke in favor of an investigation into Russia’s involvement in the United States November election on Tuesday.

“It is time for an investigation of Russia’s intervention in the U.S. Election,” Knight said in the statement. “There is too much at stake at home and abroad to not take this step.”

The 25th district’s representative furthered his sentiments by saying people deserved to know what happened and wanted the FBI to set the record straight.

“There is so much conflicting information from many sources; Americans deserve the opportunity to learn the truth,” Knight said. “As stated before, I continue to support any efforts done by the House Intelligence Committee and join many of my colleagues in supporting the assignment of a special prosecutor to take over the ongoing FBI investigation.”

When former FBI director James Comey was fired by President Trump last week, Knight stood by the president’s decision.

“The President has the authority to hire or fire anyone that reports to the Executive Branch of the Federal government,” Knight said in a statement. “I continue to support current Congressional investigations into this and other matters and I look forward to seeing their findings.”

According to Knight’s Communications Director Megan Dutra, Knight’s focus is finding the facts and moving forward.

“Congressman Knight is simply looking for the truth in the matter and believes the American people deserve that,” Dutra said to The Signal. “He supports the efforts of the House Intelligence Committee and, if needed, an outside independent investigation to collect and review all of the facts.  We need to get this matter behind us so we can continue to do the work of the people.”

Bryan Caforio, the Democrat who ran against Knight in the last election and announced his candidacy to run against him again in 2018, released a response to Knight’s statement on Wednesday.

Caforio’s comments follow memos from former FBI Director James Comey reported on Tuesday that suggest President Trump interfered with the Russia investigation.

“After learning about the potential obstruction of justice from President Trump and his attempt to end a vital FBI investigation, there should no longer be any doubt that we must have an independent investigation,” Caforio said in his statement.

Caforio then said the matter should not be partisan and insisted Knight take further action.

“If Congressman Knight is ready to put his partisan politics aside and get the American people the answers they deserve, he will sign onto the discharge petition,” Caforio said. “The fate of our democracy is on the line. For Knight to do anything less is simply lip service.”

Volcanologist and Democratic Congressional candidate Jess Phoenix also responded to Knight’s statement, sharing insight into her family ties to FBI work.

“Congressman Knight’s response to the growing Trump-Russia scandal is too little, too late,” Phoenix said to The Signal. “My mother devoted her career as an FBI agent to protecting our country from foreign powers, including Russia.”

She expanded on the seriousness of FBI work and her dissatisfaction with Knight’s prior actions.

“The Trump administration and Republican Congress have set the United States on a reckless course,” Phoenix said. “Espionage and foreign counter-intelligence are high-stakes worlds, where a mistake can result in Americans losing their lives. Knight has been asleep at the wheel while Trump drives us headlong into danger, and our country deserves better.”

Katie Hill, deputy CEO of homelessness nonprofit PATH and the first to announce her 2018 campaign against Knight, said both political parties ought to collaborate in pursuing the investigation.

“The confusion and controversy surrounding the Trump Administration are not healthy for our democracy,” Hill said to The Signal. “Democrats and Republicans in Congress need to work together to conduct a thorough and credible investigation into the circumstances around the firing of James Comey and Donald Trump’s disclosure of classified information from our allies to the Russians.”

She emphasized the need for a special prosecutor and said the process should be pursued quickly.

“Additionally, it has been abundantly clear for months that the Justice Department needs to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate the relationship between the Trump campaign and Russian bad actors,” Hill said. “I hope that, in light of recent circumstances, this will be done with haste. The American people deserve answers.”

[email protected]


On Twitter as @ginaender

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS