nsucurrent.com May 20, 2018

Besieged White House denies, defends as new bombshells hit

18 May 2017, 12:38 | Ruby West

Two congressional committees are conducting their own investigations of ties between Russian Federation and the Trump presidential campaign, and the FBI or other intelligence agencies may have unknown investigations of the presidency or presidential campaign under way. Trump's firing of Comey on 9 May was a scandal in itself, with the president ultimately admitting that he had fired Comey with "this Russian Federation thing" on his mind.

Gov. John Kasich said House Speaker Paul Ryan should be more aggressive in speaking out against President Donald Trump in the wake of news that Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The New York Times said that during the Oval Office meeting, Trump condemned a series of government leaks to the news media and said the Federal Bureau of Investigation director should consider prosecuting reporters for publishing classified information. The associate was not authorized to discuss the memo by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Comey memo, first reported by the New York Times, caused alarm on Capitol Hill and raised questions about whether Trump tried to interfere with a federal investigation.

"It would be helpful to have less drama emanating from the White House", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell observed dryly.

The revelation on Tuesday escalated the already raging political crises engulfing the White House triggered by the FBI's probe into alleged cooperation between Trump aides and Moscow, and reports that the President shared classified information to top Russian officials, CNN reported.

"It's time for Comey to testify before Congress", said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). "I think right now the focus should be on getting the evidence and getting a special prosecutor appointed". Chaffetz's letter to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe requests all memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings that relate to any communications between Comey and the president.

On Friday, Trump embarks on a world tour that will take him from Riyadh, where he is scheduled to deliver a speech reportedly discussing Islam; to Jerusalem, where he is scheduled to become the first sitting USA president to visit the Western Wall; to the Vatican, where he is expected to meet the pope. "We're not considering whose ox will be gored by this action or that action, whose fortunes will be helped by this or that - we just don't care and we can't care".

Both American presidents who were subjected to impeachment proceedings in the last century - Mr Bill Clinton in 1998 and Mr Richard Nixon in 1974 - were accused of obstruction of justice.

Obstruction of justice refers to a crime committed in order to intentionally impede official investigations.

As FBI director, he was accustomed to hours-long oversight hearings before Congress covering a wide range of topics.

"A prosecutor wouldn't make a decision on the basis of one hearsay line in a memo that has not been publicly available and that no one knows the context of", he said. "He was using his power to do that, and when James Comey didn't go along with him, when he wasn't his boy, he fired him".

Comey was abruptly fired May 9 and learned of the dismissal as he was giving a talk in Los Angeles.

Trump said to Comey that Flynn was a good guy, to which Comey agreed, the person said. He also tweeted a veiled threat last Friday warning the ex-director against leaking information.

Schumer said in a brief, somber floor speech Tuesday that he was "shaken" by the report that Trump asked Comey "to shut down an active investigation into a close political associate".

He said he's been waiting for an explanation from the White House about exactly what was said to the Russians in the Oval Office on Wednesday.

Last week, the Republican president fired Comey, who had been leading an investigation into the Trump 2016 presidential campaign's possible collusion with Russian Federation to influence the election outcome. The White House has denied the report and said Trump never asked Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, "including any investigation involving General Flynn".

Often lauded for his independence, Comey had come under intense scrutiny in past months for his role in the agency's investigation into the email practices of Trump's opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, including a pair of letters he sent to Congress on the matter in the final days of the campaign.

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