Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Lawmakers pledge full airing of why Comey was fired

Lawmakers pledge full airing of why Comey was fired

The president's original dismissal letter to Comey indicated that he was being fired for his handling of the Clinton email probe. Mark Warner of Virginia, the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence panel, told CNN that he and the committee's chairman, North Carolina Republican Sen.

"I'll let the lawyers be the judge of ramifications of that, but what we need to do is we've got to confirm whether that is true", he said. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump said, according to official meeting notes which were read aloud to the New York Times by an administration source.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the committee, said he wants to press Comey as to whether he ever believed the White House was interfering with his work, in light of a spate of news reports that Comey had kept detailed records of his interactions with Trump.

"The American public deserves to know the answers", said Sen.

The New York Times and other news outlets reported last week on a Comey memo indicating Trump had urged him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican on the panel, told CNN's "State of the Union" program on Sunday he would ask the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director whether he ever felt pressured to not do his job.

Referring to the whole sequence of events leading to Comey's firing, Cummings said: "I think that there may be quite a few people that may have some problems with the law". Originally, the White House's position was that Comey was sacked on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who cited the FBI director's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the campaign.

"The gist of the conversation was that the president feels as if he is hamstrung in his ability to work with Russian Federation to find areas of cooperation because this has been obviously so much in the news", National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" program.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin had offered to provide the U.S. Congress with transcripts of the same meeting to counter reports that Trump also disclosed classified information to Lavrov about a planned Islamic State operation.

"By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia", White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday.

The wide scope also includes "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation" - which would appear to include any efforts Trump may have made to interfere with the FBI's investigation of National Security Advisor Mike Flynn. The California Democrat said public hearings should ferret out what has been a flurry of apparently contradictory comments by numerous people involved.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions previously recused himself from any involvement in the Russia investigation which includes evidence of potential collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign associates and Russian officials, due to his role as a prominent campaign adviser and surrogate. "If so, that borders on a very serious charge".

Lavrov denied that the subject of Comey came up during the meeting, according to Interfax news agency.

Rubio appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" and CBS' "Face the Nation", Feinstein also was on CBS' "Face the Nation", and Chaffetz, Cummings and McMaster spoke on ABC's "This Week".

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