Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Did Trump Pull an Obama?

Laurie Berry | 19 May, 2017, 23:10

The move followed rising demands for an independent probe of alleged Russian efforts to sway the outcome of November's presidential election in favor of Trump and against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Lawmakers won't be the only ones seeking Comey's memos.

"I don't know everything, but everything I know, Comey has the credibility", he said.

John McCain, chairperson of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said late on Tuesday that the developments had reached "Watergate size and scale".

And Rep. Mike Simpson, an Idaho Republican, also endorsed an independent commission for the Russian Federation investigation, though he made the distinction that he did not support appointing a special prosecutor.

Republicans are beginning to grapple with the prospect that Donald Trump could be impeached, following reports that the president asked then-FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The release of Comey memos and other materials to Congress would immediately change the nature of congressional investigations into the president and Russian Federation. Rep. Aderholt said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., showed optimism about the upcoming races in a closed-door discussion with House Republicans Wednesday, pointing to recent House passage of legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare".

On Tuesday the New York Times reported that Mr. Comey wrote a confidential memo soon after a private February meeting in the Oval Office with the President. In a letter to the FBI Tuesday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Committee, demanded a copy of Comey's memo.

The Senate Intelligence Committee's Republican chairman and Democratic vice chairman sent a letter to Comey "seeking his appearance before the [committee] in both open and closed sessions", the panel said in a statement on Wednesday.

Snapchat's user base is loyal, but that might not be enough
The company has only been public for around a month, and there's still plenty of time for it to smooth things out. Experts note, though, that much of the loss involves stock-based compensation the company gave out to go public.

At issue is a note Comey wrote to himself describing a conversation with Trump on February 14, the day after Flynn was dismissed for having misled Vice President Mike Pence about a telephone conversation with Russia's ambassador.

As the controversy swirled, Trump said in a speech to US Coast Guard Academy graduates in CT he did not get elected "to serve the Washington media or special interests".

"Look at the way I have been treated lately, especially by the media. No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly", Trump said. Never ever, ever give up.

Republicans and Democrats alike were eager to hear from Mr Comey, who has increasingly emerged as a central figure in the unfolding drama.

"Given the gravity of the events that have occurred over the past several weeks, there is simply no reasonable question that the Oversight Committee and Judiciary Committee should already be conducting a robust investigation of these issues that includes public hearings, document requests, and interviews and depositions", they wrote. Ryan backed Chaffetz's request. A letter from eight Democratic Senators on Wednesday demanded that the Justice Department inspector general examine whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions violated his pledge to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation by involving himself in the decision to fire Comey and in the search for his successor. "There are two investigations going on in the House and Senate, and he wants to get to the bottom of this". Proving that Trump acted corruptly with the specific intent of impeding the FBI's investigation isn't easy, said Michael Gerhardt, the National Constitution Center's scholar in residence.

Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) have all said Trump's attempt to quash the Flynn investigation may constitute an impeachable offense. "But everybody in this country gets a fair trial, including the president or anyone else".

Trump Jr. replied: "Give me a break".

But such statements, like the handful of House GOP calls for impeachment, represent hairline cracks in Republican party unity rather than any apparent breach that would be required to start proceedings to remove Trump from office. The House initiates, and requires a majority vote. A small number of Democrats also have mentioned impeachment.

Defenders of Trump have been signaling they may attempt to turn the spotlight back on Comey, asking why the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director didn't blow the whistle or quit after the February conversation with Trump. Loudermilk said Wednesday that after spending an 11-day recess back home, he's convinced his voters remain strongly supportive of the president.

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