Trump welcomes Colombia's president to the White House

Frederick Owens
May 20, 2017

They asked him to testify on the "circumstances of your termination" and his interactions with President Donald Trump's administration about the FBI's investigation into Russian Federation.

Either claim on its own - that he divulged top-secret information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during an Oval Office meeting, or that he pressed then-FBI director James Comey to drop a probe into ex-national security advisor Michael Flynn - would plunge any White House into serious crisis.

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced the appointment of attorney Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the investigation of the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russia along with the Russian government's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

A day before Comey's meeting with Trump, Flynn had been ousted for what the White House said were misleading accounts of his conversations with Russia's United States ambassador. "Special Counsel Mueller will have all appropriate resources to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, and I am confident that he will follow the facts, apply the law and reach a just result".

The special counsel is also authorised to prosecute any crimes unearthed by the investigation.

"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, including any investigation involving General Flynn", a White House statement said.

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The top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have invited former FBI Director James Comey to testify publicly.

Mueller was appointed Federal Bureau of Investigation director in 2001 and led the Federal Bureau of Investigation through the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks.

According to sources cited in the report, that intelligence came from a USA ally who had not authorised Washington to pass it on to Moscow.

Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi said, however, the other ongoing investigations are equally important. She added that "a special prosecutor is the first step, but it can not be the last". Director Mueller will still be in the chain of command under the Trump-appointed leadership of the Justice Department.

"He can not take the place of a truly independent, outside commission that is completely free from the Trump administration's meddling".

"The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations", said the statement.

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