Senate panel wants James Comey to testify

Television network crews begin their evening news broadcast from the driveway outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington Wednesday

Television network crews begin their evening news broadcast from the driveway outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington Wednesday

We may be hearing publicly from recently fired FBI Director James Comey sooner rather than later.

A thorough investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department, important as it is, will proceed mostly in secret and can't answer all of the questions the public has about Russian meddling in last year's election.

Comey, who was leading the FBI's investigation into Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, including reported ties to the Trump campaign, was sacked by Trump last week.

"In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter, " Rod Rosenstein, the deputy Attorney General, said in a public statement.

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"There isn't any judicial review of impeachment decisions, so Congress just needs to be satisfied that Trump committed high crimes or misdemeanors", Jens David Ohlin, a law professor and associate dean at Cornell Law School told AFP. "I'm not going to take a memo, I want the guy to come in", said Sen. The G.O.P. -led investigations on Capitol Hill haven't done much thus far, and some Republicans may be tempted to use the appointment of a special counsel as an excuse to maintain the slow pace, or to go even slower.

Flynn first made the disclosure on 4 January to the transition team's chief lawyer, Donald McGahn II, who is now the White House counsel, the New York Times reported.

Trump said Wednesday the independent investigation will show, in his words, "there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity". Trump fired Comey last week.

And then there was the story that he had tried to stop the FBI investigation into his former national security adviser.

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Mueller was nominated to serve as the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by President George W. Bush just days before September 11 2001. "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go", Trump reportedly said. His independence was quickly praised as news of his appointment spread, with many recalling his famous refusal to bow to the demands of West Wing officials during the Bush administration.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the ongoing scandal around President Donald Trump sharing classified intelligence with Russian officials as "political schizophrenia", and lashed out at USA politicians whipping up what he described as "anti-Russian sentiment".

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill generally welcomed the Justice Department action and praised Mr. Mueller for his integrity, but House and Senate Republican leaders said they would go on with their own investigations of the Russian Federation matter. "The appointment of former FBI director and respected lawyer Robert Mueller as special counsel for the Russian Federation investigation is a positive development and will provide some certainty for the American people that the investigation will proceed fairly and free of political influence", Senator Richard Burr said and Mark Warner, chairman and ranking member of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said. It is the kind of conversation that seems completely in character for Trump, who, over the course of the campaign and now in office, has betrayed no - zero - understanding of the necessary separation of the president and his Justice Department when it comes to making independent judgments about political matters and political opponents.

Democrats called the choice of Mr. Mueller inspired.

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