Senate Intelligence Committee requests Comey memos

Claudine Rigal
Mai 20, 2017

Then another political bombshell exploded Tuesday night.

Two Senate committees are seeking memos former FBI Director James Comey wrote related to whether President Donald Trump asked him to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

During a graduation speech at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut, Trump complained about media coverage, though he did not address the specific report or mention Comey by name.

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said on Wednesday it may be time for an independent commission or special prosecutor, expressing concern about "the continuous and often conflicting reports about President Trump, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Russian Federation".

On Friday, Trump leaves on an ambitious five-stop trip through the Middle Eeast and Europe that many advisers see as an opportunity to reset after weeks of negative headlines.

Both Putin and the White House have called the story false. The details of his comments to the Russians would seem to bolster theories that Trump fired Comey in an effort to choke off the Russia investigation. The description in the purported memo "is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr. Comey", it said.

"If the US administration finds it possible, we are ready to provide a recording of the conversation between Lavrov and Trump to the US Congress and Senate", Putin said.

"I believe the American people will get a chance to hear from Director Comey shortly", Warner said. "He is a good guy".

Earlier: The US Justice Department on has appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

The letters came from Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, ranking member Dianne Feinstein, Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham and ranking member Sheldon Whitehouse.

"He was insane, a real nut job", Trump told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey I. Kislyak during a meeting in the Oval Office earlier this month, according to the Times report.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., followed by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., finishes a news conference at the Republican National Committee Headquarters in Washington, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

As the controversy swirled in Washington, Trump had defiant words during a speech to US Coast Guard Academy graduates in CT, complaining about media coverage and saying no politician in history "has been treated worse or more unfairly".

Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, went further.

"I think we're at the position now where it's time for an independent commission or a special prosecutor or whatever", Kinzinger told CNN Wednesday, adding that it was the first time he had made such a call. "If in fact what was said in the memo is true, it's very concerning and we need to get to the bottom of that".

Democrats were far less sparing in their criticism.

Senator Richard Blumenthal of CT, a member of the Judiciary Committee, called the memo as reported "powerful evidence of obstruction of justice". "There are other memos".

Yet despite the anxiety and displeasure voiced by McCain and a handful of other prominent GOP lawmakers, Republicans did not appear poised to abandon a president who remains critical to their goals of acting on health care and tax legislation.

The way Lavrov's meeting with Trump came about has also raised questions over whether the US president had been played. "At worst, he has obstructed justice".

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