Local reaction to Comey testimony divides along party lines

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Reaction to James Comey's testimony came quickly in Oregon.

Whether it damaged President Donald Trump seemed to depend on perspective.

Dwight Holton served as the top federal law enforcement officer in Oregon from 2010 through 2012.

He watched the hearings in disbelief.

“I cannot underscore how important this is," he said. "What we're talking about is a politician trying to control a criminal investigation for his own personal gain."

Holton believes the president went way too far.

“When we go down that territory we're going into the land of Castro of Chavez of Stalin," he said. "When politicians control law enforcement we lose liberty and freedom."

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat who participated in the hearing, made it clear where he stands.

“I believe the timing of your firing stinks,” Wyden told Comey during the proceeding. “Yesterday you put on the record why the odor of President Trump’s abuse of power is so strong."

Oregon's other Democratic senator, Jeff Merkley, who was not involved in the hearing, was more measured in his reaction, saying he'd let legal experts decide if Trump did anything that would lead to impeachment.

“At this point we don’t have enough details that merit it on this issue of obstruction, nor do we have it in terms specifically of the relationship between Trump and the Russians,” Merkley said.

In Hillsboro, the leader of the Republican Party for Washington County had a very different reaction.

“I think it vindicated Trump to some extent," said Tracy Honl. :And I don’t think there’s a ton to worry about."

She believed the president was merely talking like the businessman he is and did nothing wrong.

“I think it will energize the local Republicans a lot. A lot of Republicans here in our community really support Trump,” she said.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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