Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Lawmakers respond to report Trump asked Comey to drop Flynn probe

As for Comey, whom Trump fired last week, the FBI director wrote in a memo after a February meeting at the White House that the new president had asked him to shut down the FBI's investigation of Flynn and his Russian contacts, said a person who had read the memo.

That's according to sources familiar with the matter.

"It was an ask" not a command, the source said. When that ended, Trump asked everyone to leave except Comey, and he eventually turned the conversation to Flynn.

"He was concerned", the second source said.

Those sources said that Comey was so appalled by the request that he immediately documented it and then he shared it with other senior officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Democrats on the House Oversight and Judiciary committees called for a joint investigation into whether President Donald Trump and his top aides are perpetrating an ongoing conspiracy to obstruct justice by interfering in FBI and congressional investigations.

Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee ordered him to hand over all documents related to Russian Federation, after his refusal to cooperate with the investigation without prior immunity.

Comey's bombshell account of the February conversation is the latest headache for a White House increasingly in turmoil. The story follows a Washington Post report Monday that Trump revealed clas. "There are people within our own unelected bureaucracy that want to sabotage President Trump and our entire "America First" movement". The President has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations.

Trump on May 9 fired Comey, who was probing alleged Russian meddling in 2016 United States presidential campaign.

The associate who described the memo said Comey is willing to testify but wants to do it in public to ensure a full airing of events.

President Donald Trump walks back to the White House in Washington.

"When I made a decision to just do it [fire Comey]", Trump told Holt.

"He said there's a difference between "'Hey, Flynn's a good guy, it would be nice if you cut him a break" as opposed to "I'm the president.

Still, there's also a witness: Comey. He also tweeted on Friday suggesting he has secret recordings of his conversations with Comey, though the White House has since repeatedly refused to confirm or deny whether any such tapes actually exist.

- Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on Twitter.

Following news of the memo, Democrat Chuck Schumer taking to the senate floor to say that the latest revelation related to Russian Federation escalates concerns over USA national security and the rule of law. "The country is being tested in unprecedented ways. I say to all of my colleagues in the Senate, history is watching".

There is no sign the FBI's Russian Federation investigation is closing. At best, President Trump has committed a grave abuse of executive power.

"This is an explosive allegation and it appears like a textbook case of criminal obstruction of justice".

After the latest news broke, Josh Blackman, an associate professor of law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston who specializes in constitutional law, called the latest news "problematic".

"I think Director Comey should testify before Congress as soon as possible", Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., a moderate lawmaker from a swing district said Tuesday evening. "Congress really needs to get to the bottom of this". "It's one thing to have to have the New York Times report it, it's another to be able to look at what it is", he said. "That doesn't mean that the question was not wildly improper, and frankly, would border on the moronic".

He added, "I do think obstruction of justice, to anyone who has had to prove it in court, is not easy".

The report has put a new complexion on Trump's firing of Comey, a move he later confided to NBC News was motivated by anger over the Russian Federation probe.

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