Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Rep. John Katko on Comey memos: Congress must learn all the facts

Mr Trump has remained uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter in regards to the matter, but vented his frustration during a commencement address at the US Coast Guard Academy overnight. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a former state attorney general.

Interfering with a federal investigation might constitute obstruction of justice and could potentially be invoked in any attempt to impeach Trump.

A series of toughly-worded letters from Chaffetz and Cummings uncovered information in March that Flynn was paid more than $33,000 from RT, the Russian television network branded a propaganda outlet by US intelligence agencies.

Spicer added that he would not provide any "further comment" about Trump's discussions with Comey.

As for the memo: Which of the two, Comey or Trump, have had serious past issues with the truth?

Obstruction of justice is a felony offense for anyone who "obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct or impede the due and proper administration of the law" when it comes to legal proceedings "being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation in being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress". "No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly", Trump said.

The White House has denied reports that Mr Trump pressed Mr Comey to drop an investigation into Mr Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Comey, who was known to keep a paper trail of sensitive meetings, chronicled the president's request in a memo he produced soon after the conversation, according to a Comey associate who reviewed the document and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

Longtime Washington defense lawyer Robert Luskin agreed. The act has to be done corruptly. "In the absence of other indicia where you can infer corrupt intent, you could never prove that case".

They go to the heart of the presidency and it's one of the reasons there is so much, you know, fear in Washington now about where all of this is going and whether, in fact, among Republicans it's going to impair their capacity to pass the rest of the legislative agenda, that they really want to pass.

The revelation surrounding the memos led to more calls for an independent investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.

Even powerful Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the likely quarterback for Senate tax reform plans, said Wednesday he was anxious the GOP agenda could run aground over the Russian Federation and Comey affair. "Any one of these facts in isolation may be problematic but may not be sufficient".

Any investigation would pay close attention to the timeline. There is the Russian investigation which the FBI was conducting, but also there was an investigation I believe, even from press accounts, of what General Flynn told the Russian ambassador and then what he told the FBI agents later.

Moreover, said Wright and other lawyers, the president can't be sure advice he receives from White House lawyers will remain confidential.

The reports stem from a memo Comey wrote shortly after an Oval Office meeting in February. And legal experts say it could be hard to prove the president crossed a line.

"That shows the difficulty of having a client who won't listen", Wilkinson said.

Other Republican members of Michigan's congressional delegation acknowledged that the Comey memo raises questions but stopped well short of Amash's agreeing that reports are true, it could be ground for impeachment.

In the face of unfairness, "you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight".

"It's falling out of the trees, the evidence", he said.

Still, there's also a witness: Comey. "That's very hard when you're dealing with the firing of an Federal Bureau of Investigation director, a subject about which the President may have said all kinds of contrary things".

To lawyer Luskin, the talk of criminal charges misses the point.

"[That] would make it a crime for him", Gohmert said. Framing political crises as law enforcement matters "has the effect at the end of the day of leaving people with less respect for the legal process than before".

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