Republicans starting to turn as committee asks to see Comey documents

Vincent Carr
May 20, 2017

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 370 points recording its worst day since September previous year, following news that Trump asked former FBI director James Comey to "let go" an investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

The White House initially sought to pin the decision to fire Comey on his handling of the FBI's investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonMueller shouldn't forget to investigate Clinton's Russian Federation ties during Trump probe House Intel panel requests Comey memos Russian Federation tried to take over Pentagon Twitter accounts: report MORE's use of a private email server while secretary of State.

The Justice Department says Mueller, the new special counsel, has been given sweeping power to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, including potential links between Moscow and Trump associates.

The Senate intelligence committee also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to turn over any notes Comey might have made regarding discussions he had with White House or Justice Department officials about Russia's efforts to influence the election.

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" added Trump. "I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country", CNN quotes Trump as saying during a luncheon with TV news anchors. And in an exclusive report, Reuters states Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional investigators are looking at 18 phone calls and emails between Russian officials and Flynn and others in the Trump campaign.

His appointment, by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, was a striking shift for the Justice Department, which had resisted increasingly insistent calls from Democrats for an outside prosecutor.

Flynn reportedly told Trump team he was under investigation before inauguration
Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn", a White House statement said. The Flynn investigation was part of a broader probe into Russian interference in last year's presidential election.

"This was a very good first step".

But Trump, after issuing a measured statement when the news first broke Wednesday evening, allowed his resentment to burst forth Thursday in angry morning tweets. "Mr. Rosenstein has done the right thing", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said Thursday on the Senate floor.

His appointment raises the stakes dramatically on the long-simmering allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election and had connections with members of the Trump campaign. "I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead".

Nonetheless Comey was the man in demand on Capitol Hill, with three committees working to seat him at their witness tables soon, two in the Senate and one in the House.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said he is supportive of investigations in Congress but expressed concern about the "proliferation" of hearings. "I hope that we don't inadvertently trip up or damage the independent investigation of the special counsel", he said. Flynn, through his lawyer, had earlier asked for immunity from "unfair prosecution" in exchange for agreeing to cooperate with the committee.

Trump fired Flynn in February from the key White House posting after routine US eavesdropping on foreign officials showed he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to Washington in the weeks before Trump assumed power in late January. It was not clear what caused the mix-up.

Other reports by BadHub

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