In the News

While the country tuned in to hear former FBI Director James Comey testify Thursday before a Senate committee about his conversations with President Donald Trump, it was another day of work in the House of Representatives.

San Diego’s five House members joined their colleagues in the morning in voting 233-186 along party lines on a bill to repeal parts of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations.


But when they were back in their offices and time allowed, the House members and their staffs watched live broadcasts of Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“It was actually business as usual in the office, but the volume of the TVs was turned up a little bit louder than normal days,” said a spokeswoman for Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego.

Joe Kasper, chief of staff for Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, said office staffers watched the testimony, if only because it was the only thing on television.

“We were all watching while doing other things. But it was on every TV by virtue of the fact that it was on every news network,” Kaspar said.

Here’s what three of San Diego County’s five congressional members said in statements about Comey’s testimony:

Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego

“After today’s hearing, Americans are left with even more questions and uncertainty. Former FBI Director Comey's testimony corroborated the concerning reports recently made public by various news agencies. It is imperative that we establish an independent commission to get to the bottom of the Trump-Russia investigation.”

Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego

“It is in all of our best interests as Americans to get to the bottom of Russian interference and follow the facts to wherever — and whomever — they may lead. Vladimir Putin isn’t a political operative, he is an adversary. If we don’t get to the bottom of this then we won’t be equipped to stop him the next time we’re attacked. Jim Comey’s candid testimony gave us important answers and insight, but there is much more work to be done both by congressional investigators and Mr. (Robert) Mueller. I appreciate the Senate Intelligence Committee’s work, and continue to support empaneling a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate Russian interference, free from the partisan and jurisdictional restrictions in Congress.”

Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego

“Today we confirmed the President’s disturbing behavior into the Flynn/Russia investigation. With each passing day, it’s clear we need to dig deeper. In addition to the investigations by Congress and the Special Counsel, we need an independent commission to get to the truth for the American people.”

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R- Alpine

Hunter didn’t release a statement, but spokesman Kasper said in an email:

“There wasn’t anything new here. It was a whole lot of nothing, really, beyond the political theater. The President is not under investigation. We already knew that. And the Russians did try to interfere with our election through cyber-attacks. We already knew that too.”

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista

A spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, did not respond to a request for comment, and his office did not post anything related to Comey on his website or his social media accounts.

Mike Levin, a Democrat running against Issa next year, criticized the incumbent in a tweet for not talking about the testimony.

Issa’s other Democratic challenger, Doug Applegate, released a statement:

“I joined the Marines Corp in 1974 at the height of the Cold War and served as a warrior in that fight. Through his testimony today, James Comey confirmed to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia is, in fact, coming after America. Trump and the GOP Congress know we're is under attack, but have done nothing to protect our most sacred right, our right to vote.

“The sacrifices made by each generation, from the American Revolution to the present, stand to be thrown away if we stay the present course. Every true American patriot must join the fight to stop this treason of our democracy.”