Comey, Russia controversies surrounding Trump threaten federal budget work

Responding to a question, Amash said Wednesday that if Trump, before firing Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, urged Comey to end a probe of Trump's former adviser Michael Flynn, it could be grounds to begin the impeachment process. "It's not appropriate to a criminal investigation, and the inability to distinguish the one from the other, I think, is extraordinary". The White House disputed the account. Lindsey O. Graham, R-S.C., who told the press: "I've asked Comey to come before the Judiciary Committee to tell his side of the story".

The White House downplayed the report, however, saying at no time did Trump ask or order Comey or any other law enforcement official to stop an investigation, including the Russian Federation probe. At a Federalist Society event today in Washington, Mukasey said it would have been inappropriate for Trump to have asked Comey in an informal manner to drop the Flynn case, though he said the president has the power to order investigations to cease.

In the New York Times, author and professor of constitutional law at Florida International University College of Law Elizabeth Price Foley states that President Trump's alleged statements to Comey do not constitute an obstruction of justice.

The scope of Mueller's investigation includes "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump".

Haldeman called Walters and Helms to the White House, where he said "that the bugging of the Watergate was creating a lot of noise, that the opposition was attempting to maximize this, that the FBI was investigating this and the leads might lead to some important people, and he asked Mr. Helms what the Agency connection was", Walters told a Senate committee in September 1973.

Only two presidents - Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999 - have ever been impeached by the House, both of which history has judged to be highly partisan proceedings. Walters delivered the memos to Alexander Haig, then Nixon's chief of staff, who told Nixon that allowing Walters to testify before an upcoming hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee would help damage Dean's reputation. "While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation", a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity. "We have to ask ourselves what is the right thing to do and then do it".

"You already knew the media was out to get us", it said. Mr. Trump may have been bluffing about the tapes, but if they do exist, the White House won't be able to protect them for long.

Putin told a news conference that he would be willing to turn over notes of Trump's meeting with the Russian diplomats if the White House agreed.

Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan however said it was crucial to let investigations run their course before rushing to judgment. The existence of the memo was first reported Tuesday by The New York Times. The west MI libertarian never endorsed Trump and was a driving force in rejecting an early version of a health care reform bill, a move that led to discussions of his being potentially targeted for defeat next year by the White House. Really, if a freshman can refuse to spin for the White House, why can't lawmakers with years of seniority in no danger of losing their seats?

King, who generally votes with the Democrats, said, "We don't want to get into the situation where we're charging our president based on any kind of political considerations".

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