Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Senate Committees Ramp Up Trump Probes

Francis Olson | 20 May, 2017, 00:02

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that "the country is being tested in unprecedented ways" after learning of new reporting saying that Trump asked Comey to shelve the investigation.

Chavez said his last day will be June 30.

This is the latest effort in a newly invigorated push from congressional Republicans to investigate the scandal-plagued White House. "Our job is to be responsible, sober and focus only on gathering the facts".

Under Chaffetz, the Oversight Committee has gone after Republican and Democratic pet issues alike, including allegations that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaked classified information through her private email server.

Even by Trump administration standards it's been a chaotic week or so.

The reason, the President implied, was that Comey wouldn't end his investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation - allegations the President insists were untrue.

Addressing the Comey memo, GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas said: "If Comey felt like the president was trying to obstruct justice, Comey would have been duty-bound to report it to the DOJ and act on it".

President Putin deployed his trademark sarcasm on Wednesday to make clear he thought the accusation that Trump had divulged secrets absurd.

The White House has played down the importance and secrecy of the information Mr Trump gave to the Russians, which had been supplied by Israel under an intelligence-sharing agreement. Putin offered to provide Congress with a record of our president's meeting with top Russian diplomats to shed light on exactly what highly classified intelligence information Trump shared with them. "The important ongoing bipartisan investigation in the House will also continue", Ryan said.

Impeachment, of the President, by the House of Representatives is not a finding of guilt.

Republicans have no real danger of losing control of the Senate in next year's midterm elections.

The release of Comey memos and other materials to Congress would immediately change the nature of congressional investigations into the president and Russian Federation.

Iranian MPs to Weigh Response to New US Sanctions
The Trump administration will have to waive more sanctions next month, should it wish to maintain the historic nuclear deal . The US says the programme is a breach of worldwide law because the missiles could carry nuclear warheads in the future.

"We are all in this together", he said.

As reporters huddled off the House floor questioning GOP lawmakers about the Comey memos, another staunch Trump loyalist, Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, walked by and entered the elevator as he quipped: "Almost sounds like fake news".

But one of the puzzles of American politics today is that Americans seem to be getting two different sets of news and two different sets of facts - first, from the mainstream press, and second, from a relatively self-contained conservative media which basically reports what it wants to report. White House statements are about as believable as those issued regularly by the Kremlin.

The requests - made in separate letters to FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe and White House Counsel Donald McGahn - were made after a report that a memo written by Comey says Trump asked him to drop Flynn probe.

Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, warned guests at a Tuesday dinner that Trump's missteps were "reaching Watergate size and scale", referring to the 1970s scandal that brought down Richard Nixon.

Known for his independence, Mr Mueller was originally sworn in as FBI Director in the days before the 9/11 attacks but threatened to resign in 2004, along with Mr Comey who was serving as Deputy Attorney General at the time, over plans to revive warrantless NSA surveillance without any legal protections. And lawmakers have alleged that the sudden ouster was an attempt to stifle the bureau's investigation into Trump associates' ties to Russia's meddling in the campaign.

The Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees have requested copies of Comey's memos detailing conversations with Trump, and the intelligence panel on Wednesday invited Comey to testify both behind closed doors and in a public session.

"As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity".

"I hope you can let this go", Trump told Comey, according to a source familiar with the contents of the memo. "He is a good guy".

White House's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn after he was sacked just 24 days into the job. When that ended, Trump asked everyone to leave except Comey, and he eventually turned the conversation to Flynn.

Matthew Kaiser of Washington's KaiserDillon said, "It's probably time for the president to hire a criminal defense lawyer to begin to prepare to defend him".

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