Cummings tells Chaffetz to demand WH docs on Trump, Russia's Comey conversation

Cheryl Sanders
May 20, 2017

Earlier this week, investors dumped stocks in response to reports that Trump in February had asked Comey to stop investigating his former national security adviser, prompting accusations the president may have tried to hamper the probe.

"It explicitly usurped the role of the attorney general, the deputy attorney general and the entire Department of Justice", Rosenstein said of that public announcement. But he added, "I wrote it".

Questions about the FBI's ongoing Russian Federation investigation dominated a joint press conference with Colombia President Juan Manual Santos.

Cummings said the committee's GOP chairman, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, "should. have his subpoena pen ready" to obtain any White House documents related to Trump's meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador.

Michael Allen, a former senior director on the National Security Council in the George W. Bush White House, said that transcripts of meetings with foreign leaders usually "are treated like the crown jewels". A Washington Post report, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter, said a senior Trump adviser is now considered a "person of interest" in the law enforcement investigation into whether Trump's campaign associates coordinated with Russian Federation in an effort to sway the 2016 election.

Rosenstein briefed senators Thursday, just a week after Trump's stunning decision to fire Comey.

What's more, as the Times' report makes clear, this is not mere scuttlebutt from anonymous sources.

Former FBI director James Comey, who was sacked by Donald Trump amid an agency probe into alleged Russian meddling in the United States election, has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee at a public hearing.

Rosenstein only told House members that he appointed a special counsel to restore Americans' faith in the Russian Federation investigation, saying that interference in USA elections should not be a partisan issue.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, "as the president has stated before, a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity".

Mr Trump has insisted at times the decision was his alone, but he also has pointed to a "very strong" recommendation from Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein. "I stand by it", Rosenstein said in his two separate briefings on Comey's firing, one to the Senate yesterday and the other to the House today.

The appointment has drawn generally favourable comments from Democrats and from some Republicans as well.

The FBI's investigation seeks to determine whether and to what extent Trump associates were in contact with Kremlin operatives, what business dealings they might have had in Russian Federation, and whether they in any way facilitated the hacking and publishing of Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's emails during the presidential campaign.

She said subjects of the investigation could later argue that its results cannot be trusted, but she believes the argument would not stand up in court.

President Trump arrived for a news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at White House on May 18.

Trump has reacted furiously to the appointment. They didn't identify the lawmaker who made the remark but said Rosenstein gave a neutral response.

Officials including Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, attorney general Jeff Sessions and secretary of state Rex Tillerson have all acknowledged contacts with Russian officials.

Other reports by iNewsToday