Lawmakers respond to Comey's testimony before Senate committee

(KFVS/AP) - Former FBI Director James Comey testified starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 8 before the Senate intelligence committee.

He testified in an open session, which was followed by a closed session.

Comey released a written statement on Wednesday, ahead of his testimony. You can click here to read the entire statement.

Committee members wanted to hear from Comey on his role in the development of the U.S. intelligence agencies' assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

They also hoped Comey's testimony will answer questions that have arisen since Comey's sudden firing by President Donald Trump.

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) issued the following statement about Comey's testimony:

"Mr. Comey's testimony about the President's behavior should concern any American who respects the basic rule of law and our democratic institutions. Let's be clear: the former FBI Director has now testified under oath that he believes the President lied and may be under investigation for obstructing an active investigation into Russia's interference in our democracy. These accusations are not normal and they transcend petty partisanship. Special Counsel Mueller must now swiftly complete a transparent, impartial and independent investigation to ensure the American people learn the truth."

U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued this statement:

The question for the American people is: who do you trust? Director Comey kept extensive records of what the President asked of him, and agreed to testify publicly under oath. That speaks volumes. No person—not even the President—should try to influence or stop a criminal investigation. Special Counsel Mueller is investigating any criminal activity, and he is the right person for this historic assignment.

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Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.