Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Many in GOP unshaken by Comey's testimony against Trump

Many in GOP unshaken by Comey's testimony against Trump

Back in March, Sessions stepped aside from overseeing a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign after he acknowledged meeting twice a year ago with the Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak.

The tweet also raised eyebrows in the West Wing, with at least two senior White House aides expressing surprise Friday morning at the president's missive slamming Comey.

Outraged Democrats argued that Comey had laid out all the elements of an obstruction of justice case, even as Democratic leaders tried to tamp down calls for impeachment coming from some liberals, including some members of Congress. Chances that Republicans themselves would initiate or even consider impeachment proceedings were zero, and that will change only if the Justice Department special counsel on the case, Robert Mueller, delivers a verdict they can not ignore whenever his investigation concludes.

He asserted that nothing in Comey's testimony to the Senate pointed to collusion with Russian Federation or obstruction of justice. Asked if he would speak to the issue under oath, Trump said: "100 percent". Any such recordings could prove which man's account is accurate, but the president played coy - saying he would wait "a fairly short period of time" to tell the public whether any tapes exist, as he first suggested they might in May.

"I know what I'm doing". "I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future", he said.

Trump emphatically declared his innocence yet refused to solve a mystery of his own making by stating whether he has tapes of his one-on-one conversations with Comey.

Congressional investigators have spent close to six months now, digging into possible ties between the campaign of President Donald Trump and the Russian government, and a handful of key figures have captured their attention.

If they do, they asked that copies of the materials be provided to the panel by June 23.

James Comey claims, Trump asked for "loyalty" during one meeting and asked Comey to help end the FBI's investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in the other.

"I didn't say that", Trump said again. Numerous cases I worked as a counterintelligence agent involved foreign intelligence officers who used First Amendment and political freedoms in the United States to their advantage.

He also accused Qatar, a key US military partner, of funding terrorism "at a very high level", and said solving the problem in the tiny Persian Gulf nation could be "the beginning of the end of terrorism".

Kasowitz disputed those points and attacked Comey for leaking "privileged communications" to the media.

On Friday, the leaders of the House of Representatives intelligence committee's investigation said they had asked Comey for his notes and memos about his discussions with Trump, and asked the White House to produce any recordings or memos of conversations between Trump and Comey. Trump wrote on Twitter just after 6 a.m. on Friday. And he repeated the charge at the Rose Garden news conference, telling reporters, "He's a leaker". It's always risky to speculate during a fast-moving investigation, but it's very hard to see Comey's appearance Thursday as anything but a big political nightmare for President Trump (notwithstanding Marc Kasowitz's statement).

Lawyer Marc Kasowitz will file the complaint with the Justice Department's inspector general and will also make a "submission" to the Senate Judiciary and Senate Intelligence committees about Comey's testimony, said the source, who declined to be identified because the matter was not public.

But eventually they conceded, agreeing to a document production schedule with the Senate and providing documents to the House Intelligence Committee this week as well.

"Those were lies, plain and simple", Mr Comey said in his opening remarks ahead of the three-hour inquiry.

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