Demonstrators ask NC senators to call for independent Trump-Russia probe


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Demonstrators gathered Friday as Republican U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis spoke at a Jesse Helms Center Foundation event in Raleigh.

They want an independent special prosecutor to be assigned to investigate any possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, and they want Tillis and Burr to call for it.

“We need as full and as complete an investigation as possible,” said Phyllis Gould of Apex.

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Burr co-chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own investigation into the matter. He’s opposed the calls for a special prosecutor.

Before the event in Raleigh, he said, “To date, there’s been no evidence of collusion.”

After firing FBI Director James Comey earlier this week, President Donald Trump tweeted Friday morning that Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

Burr called the tweet “inappropriate.”

During his speech in Raleigh Friday night, Burr briefly mentioned his committee’s investigation. He spoke about a hearing the day before focused on global threats and said, “that I can’t just focus my efforts on an investigation into Russia’s involvement in our elections because the globe is a very unstable place.”

When asked about the firing of James Comey, Tillis said, “It’s not the way I would have done it.”

Protesters said having an special prosecutor would lend credibility to the findings of the investigation.

“We have to have an independent commission, an independent prosecutor, so that whatever the outcome of this investigation, the majority of the American people will believe it and will be solidly behind it. We’re so divided right now, this has a risk of splitting us even further,” said Jim Foster of Chatham County.

Demonstrators say they hope that message resonates with the senators and they take it with them back to Washington.

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