Trump-Comey turmoil makes for lively town hall with Congressman Huffman

Turmoil at the FBI after Director Comey's firing made for an especially lively political town hall Tuesday evening in Marin County.

A few hundred people packed an auditorium at Dominican University in San Rafael.

Congressman Jared Huffman told the crowd that he, like other Democrats, wants a special prosecutor and independent commission to look into ties between President Trump's campaign and Russia.

"It's a bombshell," Rep. Huffman told KTVU, of James Comey's dismissal.

"As much as I questioned Comey's judgment, I always felt that he was at least independent, not some partisan hack."

Huffman finds it suspicious for President Trump to turn against Comey now.

"The FBI investigation was getting a little close to home on these Russian connections. We'll see what happens from here, but I think at the very least, this very political act by Donald Trump has slowed down that investigation."

The FB upheaval lent new urgency to the event, which had been planned previously, Huffman's eleventh town hall since December.   

"President Trump has brought a level of demagoguery, corruption, secrecy, and recklessness to the White House, that I'm not sure our country has ever experienced," he declared in his opening statements.

The town hall theme was "Holding the President Accountable", with three prominent attorneys contributing to the discussion.

"We have to support the judiciary," urged Caroline Fredrickson, President of the American Constitution Society.

"Without it, we really don't have a way of holding Donald Trump, his administration, or anybody, accountable."     

Another panelist, Sara Eisenberg, is on the legal team that blocked sanctuary cities from losing federal funding

"Just by pushing back against some of the really outlandish things that are happening, we can make good progress, but we're not resting there," exclaimed Eisenberg, Deputy City Attorney for San Francisco.

"What can people do? We are doing it, we are becoming a much more educated population," she added.

Congressman Huffman says, even among Republicans, he feels opinion shifting on Trump, and the narratives changing.  

The evening's loudest applause came when the topic of impeachment was broached, amid talk of high crimes and misdemeanors.

"We are heading down a road in which violations of the law will compel Congress to consider that," predicted Prof. Margaret Russell of the Santa Clara University School of Law.

"The question I have, is could it ever happen with this Congress?", she posed.

The audience murmured and turned to Huffman, who responded humorously, "Are you looking to me?"

The votes don't exist now, admitted Huffman, but might be there later.

"We might be able to change the dynamics on the investigations that would lead potentially to an impeachment," he mused.

The crowd, staunchly Democratic, were urged to channel their discontent into action, working with organizations, and in swing districts, looking ahead to the mid-term elections of 2018.