U.S.

Oval Office meeting that spiralled into White House crisis

Oval Office meeting that spiralled into White House crisis

It was not immediately clear how the House Oversight Committee would proceed.

His handling of the controversy could serve as canary in the coalmine for vulnerable Republicans more generally as they try to navigate the troubled political waters around Trump.

And House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz announced he was inviting Comey to testify before his committee next Wednesday, though the committee has yet to make contact with the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

"I hope you can let this go", the President allegedly said to James Comey, who is known for his diligent memos recording conversations of dubious ethical or legal status.

But Trump told NBC's Lester Holt days later that he was going to fire Comey regardless of Rosenstein's memo, and that is was, indeed, in part, because of the ongoing Russian Federation investigation, which Trump has dismissed as a "hoax".

It also asked the White House to provide records of interactions with Comey, including those "relating to the FBI's investigation of alleged ties between President Trump's associates and Russian Federation, or the Clinton email investigation, including all audio recordings, transcripts, notes, summaries, or memoranda", according to a statement.

Cummings said Mueller was a "solid choice" and urged Mueller "to follow the facts wherever they may lead, with integrity and independence".

Asked about the multiple investigations of the Trump election campaign and his associates' possible ties to Russia, Tillerson said most countries "don't have time to pay attention to what's happening here".

Senior Trump administration officials sought Thursday to dispel concerns that the political scandals swirling around the White House will distract from President Trump's first official trip overseas. And in April, the committee's scrutiny of Flynn's contacts with government agencies about those payments prompted an inquiry by the Pentagon's inspector general.




Also on Tuesday, a new poll shows almost half of USA voters (48 percent) said they would support Trump's impeachment, while only 41 percent would oppose such charges. Chaffetz has said he will not run for re-election and there is uncertainty whether he will finish his term, leading to questions about how effective he will remain as chairman.

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-Va.) struck a bipartisan tone on Wednesday in their request for "any notes or memorandum" regarding communication between Comey and White House or Justice Department officials about Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 election. "Why is he not doing the same here?" he asked.

"For the president to tell the FBI to end a potential criminal investigation, that's obstruction of justice", said Erwin Chereminsky, a constitutional law professor and dean of University of California, Irvine School of Law. "Instead, he appears to have minimized any oversight whatsoever", Cummings said. After the news broke of the Comey memo, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stood in the chamber and said, "I say to all of my colleagues in the Senate - history is watching".

He dismissed outrage over Mr Trump's disclosures as U.S. politicians whipping up "anti-Russian sentiment".

"There's clearly a lot of politics being played", Ryan said.

Warner said he expects the FBI's McCabe to respond within "72 hours" to the requests for the memos but wouldn't say if the committee would make those public.

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who took over last week after Comey was sacked, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that, "There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date". Ryan backed Chaffetz's request. The committee also asked for White House records of any recordings of Comey from McGahn, since the president suggested in a tweet last week that there might be recordings of his meeting with Comey.

The State Department said Wednesday that "violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest".


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