More US Republicans back independent probe of Trump-Russia ties

Frederick Owens
May 19, 2017

In a letter to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Tuesday, the Republican chairman of a House oversight committee, Jason Chaffetz, set a May 24 deadline for the FBI to produce all relevant material relating to any communications between Comey and Trump.

"The president implied in a tweet last week that the White House may have recordings of interactions with Comey".

He questioned the appointment of a special counsel to take over an investigation into possible Russian interference during the 2016 USA presidential election - which Comey led until he was sacked.

The group, a nonprofit that provides legal assistance to the press, was citing a story in The New York Times that said Comey had taken contemporaneous notes about a conversation where the President had suggested Comey back off investigating former national security advisor Gen. Michael Flynn over contacts with Russian Federation, but should be investigating leaks and potentially punishing journalists. The hearing is expected to looking specifically at Trump's influence on the investigation into Trump, his allies and their connections to Russian Federation. "Our job is to be responsible, sober and focused only on gathering the facts". "That is what Congress does in conducting oversight of the executive branch".

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"I think it's reaching the point where it [Trump controversies] is of Watergate size and scale", McCain said. Even the reporter that did the story hasn't seen them. And if he did, in fact, ask Comey for his loyalty and to ease up on the investigations, the calls for impeachment will be swift, and he'll only have brought it on himself.

Another top Republican in Congress is calling for a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of the Comey memo and whether the president obstructed justice in asking the head of FBI to drop a federal investigation.

He stressed the need to be clear-eyed and avoid speculation or innuendo, noting that "there are clearly a lot of politics being played" and those who might seek to harm the president.

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSecond Senate committee invites Comey to publicly testify Second Senate panel to invite Comey to testify Senate panel requests any memos, tapes from Comey-Trump meetings MORE (D-R.I.) also told reporters that Grassley would issue an invitation to Comey to testify before the committee.

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