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Senior White House Adviser Under Scrutiny in Russia Investigation

20 May 2017, 02:58 | Darnell Patrick

Senior White House Adviser Under Scrutiny in Russia Investigation

Trump speaks during a news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the East Room of the White House in Washington Thursday

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday appointed a special counsel to lead the FBI's Russian Federation investigation - one day after The Times reported that Trump had pressured James Comey, the FBI director whom Trump fired on May 9, to drop the bureau's probe into Flynn.

The hearing will be scheduled after the 29 May Memorial Day holiday, the committee's statement said.

Comey has been at the heart of the scandals enveloping the White House after Trump fired him last week while he was leading the FBI's investigation into Russia's election-year meddling and contact with the Trump campaign.

The remarks will likely dampen Democratic accusations that Trump fired Comey because he wanted to stymie the FBI's investigation into interference by Russian Federation and any collusion with Trump's campaign.

The NY Times cited a document read to the paper by an American official. "The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", Burr said.

The conversation, which took place earlier this month in the Oval Office, reinforces the notion that Trump dismissed Comey primarily because of the bureau's investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives, the Times reported.

The Justice Department issued the text of Mr Rosenstein's opening remarks for the briefings on Capitol Hill.

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Asked point-blank if he'd done anything that might merit prosecution or even impeachment, Trump said no - and then added of the lingering allegations and questions: "I think it's totally ridiculous".

The President maintains he was surprised by the response to Comey's firing. Trump was telling Mr. Lavrov of the "pressure" he was now under.

The surprise announcement to hand the probe over to Mueller, a lawman with deep bipartisan respect, was a striking shift for Trump's Justice Department, which had resisted increasingly loud calls from Democrats for an outside prosecutor.

"It is a candid internal memorandum about the FBI director's public statements concerning a high-profile criminal investigation", he said. Reports of a memo from Comey indicating Trump had asked him to drop an investigation into Flynn rocked Washington and Wall Street.

"No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly", he said.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 18, 2017, for a closed-door meeting with Senators a day after appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the investigation into possible ties between Russian Federation and President Donald Trump's campaign.

The FBI's investigation has bedeviled the Trump administration, and the president personally. Rosenstein denounced that as "profoundly wrong and unfair". Where the investigation goes would be up to Mueller, the Justice Department official said.

In a written statement, Trump insisted anew there were no nefarious ties between his campaign and Russian Federation.



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