There was varying reactions, much of it along party lines, to the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey in Washington on Thursday.
Some GOP lawmakers, like Elma Congressman Chris Collins, argued that Trump's action were a result of well-meaning inexperience or dedication to his aides.
"I'm frankly proud of him for standing up for someone who was as loyal as Mike Flynn was throughout the campaign," Collins said of Comey's dramatic depiction of an Oval Office meeting in which Trump allegedly said he hoped the FBI would let the Flynn investigation go.
According to TheHill.com, Senate Minority Leader and New York Democrat Chuck Schumer said that with Comey’s testimony, "The cloud hanging over this administration has just gotten a whole lot darker. Few committee hearings in the history of the Senate have produced the kind of eye-opening testimony that we heard today."
New York's Democratic junior senator, Kristin Gillibrand, said in a statement, “Director Comey’s testimony makes clear that he expects Special Prosecutor Mueller will investigate obstruction of justice by the President. Director Comey’s testimony that he took the President’s comments regarding the Flynn investigation ‘as a direction’ is alarming. We must get to the bottom of this issue because nobody, including the President, is above the law.
Gillibrand said the hearing also raised "serious questions" concerning the actions of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. She said "the American people need to know what the underlying facts are" that led Comey to believe Sessions’s engagement in the Russia-related investigation was "problematic."
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, a Democrat from Fairport, released a statement saying, “Director Comey’s testimony is a reminder of the old adage that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. His testimony made clear that President Trump likely obstructed justice when he suggested Director Comey back down from what should be an independent FBI investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.”