Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

These 4 People Are Being Interviewed for FBI Director

These 4 People Are Being Interviewed for FBI Director

Burr said because there has been no evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump and Russian Federation it is unlikely FBI Director James Comey was sacked to impede the ongoing investigation, media reported. "I can't comment on any conversations the director may have had with the president", McCabe said. Comey found the allegations confounding, according to his associate, and wondered what to make of what he described as unusual thoughts coming from his new boss.

Seeking to bolster Trump's case that he has had no concealed dealings with Russia, his lawyers said in a letter released by the White House on Friday that a review of Trump's tax returns from the past 10 years showed no income from Russian sources outside of a few exceptions, and indicated he did not owe money to Russian lenders.

Trump told NBC on Thursday that he wanted the FBI's investigation into Russia's election meddling to be "absolutely done properly", and said Comey's firing might "lengthen out the investigation".

Trump told Fox News he did not ask Comey to pledge loyalty and only wants him to be honest.

The point of greatest sensitivity raised by Trump's decision to fire Comey is its potential connection to the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's role in investigating what he described as "the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts".

Much of the controversy centers around a White House dinner meeting earlier this year between Trump and Comey.

The issue is unlikely to go away, however, especially in light of Trump's tweet on Friday implying that the conversation had been recorded.

In a television interview Thursday with NBC News, Trump gave a different account of the dinner. "I hold director Comey in the highest regard". The president did not mention a loyalty pledge request.

Durbin said Trump's tweet on Friday "could be construed as threatening a witness in this investigation, which is another violation of federal law".

"I said, 'If it's possible, would you let me know am I under investigation?' He said you are not under investigation", Trump told NBC.

"In fact when I chose to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won", he said.

"There is supposed to be a line that is not crossed, including asking the FBI if you yourself are the target of the investigation", Moss told VOA. "The exchange that took place with Comey, whichever version you believe, raises very, very serious questions about attempts to pressure an FBI director investigating wrongdoing potentially implicating the president".

"From a constitutional perspective, Trump can make whatever demands of his principal officers he wishes, and can fire them at will", said Josh Blackman, a law professor at South Texas College of Law Houston. "That was the first article of impeachment against Nixon".

That is a reference to former President Richard Nixon, who resigned in 1974 less than a month after the House of Representatives began impeachment proceedings against him.

The White House initially said Trump fired Comey on the recommendation of the top Justice Department officials: Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein.

Comey was directing investigations into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, along with possible meddling by Moscow in the 2016 USA presidential election. He said that while he received a scathing assessment of Comey's performance from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Monday, that memo was not a catalyst for his dramatic decision as the White House had said earlier.

Mr Sessions has faced questions over whether his involvement in Mr Comey's firing violates his pledge to recuse himself from investigations into Russian interference in the election.

At the center of the scrutiny is whether Rosenstein was instructed to draft a memo justifying Comey's dismissal or whether he made a decision to write the document without direction.

Comey had angered Democrats over his handling of the probe of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Unconfirmed media reports said that Comey in recent weeks sought more financial resources from the government to support the probe.

The firing has prompted Democrats to amplify their calls for an independent investigation of the Russian Federation case.

But Friday afternoon, Rosenstein said he did not see the need at this time for a special prosecutor, CNN reported.

Comey, according to the New York Times, allegedly called Trump "crazy" and "outside the realm of normal" while expressing astonishment to colleagues about Trump's wild and unsubstantiated claims back in March that Obama wiretapped his phones at his Trump Tower office during the election campaign period.

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