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What Comey's Testimony Means for Missouri

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and his Republican colleagues have political calculations to make in the wake of former FBI Director Jim Comey's testimony. (USDA/Flickr)
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and his Republican colleagues have political calculations to make in the wake of former FBI Director Jim Comey's testimony. (USDA/Flickr)
June 9, 2017

ST. LOUIS – Missouri, like the rest of the nation, is still digesting yesterday's congressional testimony of former FBI Director Jim Comey, who believes he was fired by President Donald Trump because of the Russia investigation.

Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee the President maligned him and his agency, but demanded his loyalty - which Trump has denied. Comey said their encounters were tense, and he took detailed notes about them.

Dan Epps, associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, says there are separate legal and political considerations about the President's alleged actions.

"It's certainly legally sufficient, you know, under a good-faith understanding of the Constitution, to impeach him and remove the President," he says. "But there's an entirely separate question whether the political incentives are there for that to happen, and we don't really know where the break point is for congressional Republicans."

Epps says it doesn't have to be a partisan decision because some believe Vice President Mike Pence could be more effective at furthering the Republican agenda if he replaced President Trump. He notes, however, that impeachment proceedings would be extremely distracting and disruptive in the short-term.

Epps says the big question in the "Show-Me State" is this:

"When do Missouri's elected Republicans in Congress and Sen. Blunt, who is on the Select Committee on Intelligence, when do they decide that their constituents are interested in taking these allegations seriously?" he asks.

Epps says the unusual nature of politics in the past year makes it very difficult to determine whether Missouri Republicans would drop their support of the President.

Kevin Patrick Allen/Shaine Smith, Public News Service - MO