Friday, 18 August, 2017

Trump faces fallout over Comey memo, Russian intelligence sharing

Maxine Waters How a tax cut could still happen even if impeachment proceedings begin against Trump
Christy Curtis | 18 May, 2017, 11:00

A White House official further emphasized that acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe gave testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week in which he said, "There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date".

"We are witnessing an obstruction of justice case unfolding in real time", said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a former state attorney general. Therefore, says the Justice Department, "it follows that an endeavor to obstruct justice need not be successful to be criminal". The intelligence, reportedly obtained by Israel, was disclosed without Israel's consent, and it was considered so sensitive it was restricted even among us authorities. He added: "Whether there are mitigating circumstances remains to be seen".

On Tuesday, the House Oversight Committee also asked for any materials related to Mr. Comey's interactions with Mr. Trump.

Democrats and a number of Republicans said they wanted to hear from Comey, who was sacked last week a day before Trump met in the Oval Office with the Russian diplomats.

The Hill reports that Amash also said if impeachment came down to a question of whether to trust Trump or Comey, he would side with the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

The House was in recess when Trump abruptly fired Comey last week. And citing a Washington Post story about Trump revealing classified information to Russian diplomats in the Oval Office a day after firing Comey, Risch said it had been disclosed by "a weasel ... a traitor".

For the record, the White House has denied the president asked Comey or anyone else "to end any investigation".

And in a tweet Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. defended his father. The act has to be done corruptly.

Despite reports Mr Trump shared the information in a way that would have allowed the Russians to work out its origin, General McMaster asserted the President "in no way compromised any sources".

"My view is that there are a lot of pieces coming together", said Peter Zeidenberg, a former public corruption prosecutor. The Justice Department's appointment late Wednesday of a special counsel in the case is a positive development.

President Trump's own interviews, tweets and comments to the press are helping investigators determine whether he obstructed justice.

Any investigation would pay close attention to the timeline.

Earlier on Wednesday, GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger became one of the most high-profile Republicans to join the call for an independent commission or special prosecutor to investigate possible Trump ties to Russian Federation.

Chaffetz said he has always had strong support from congressional leaders. The credibility of the White House has come under attack, as aides have delivered false or misleading statements or aggressively argued points that the president later contradicted. Originally, the two were going to debate, but CNN changed the format after The New York Times first reported Comey had written a memo about Trump's asking him to stop an investigation into Flynn, the former national security adviser.

Trump wrote to Comey that the dismissal was necessary to restore public trust and confidence. "He was concerned", said the associate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Kinzinger added that he has not lost faith in the Congressional investigations into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, but stressed, "We need honest, non-political answers".

"This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey".

Trump himself hasn't directly addressed the latest allegations that he pressured Comey to drop the Flynn investigation.

"It's falling out of the trees, the evidence", he said. Having finally obtained control of the House, Senate and the White House, Republicans have ambitious goals for rewriting the nation's health care law and tax code.

Amash, a member of the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus and chairman of the Liberty Caucus, has been calling for an independent commission to investigate the Trump administration's alleged ties to Russian Federation.

He said: "The President wasn't even aware of where this information came from - he wasn't even briefed on the source or method of this information either".

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