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Republican voices grow for independent Russian Federation probe

18 Mai 2017

"The point is he was trying to interfere with an investigation", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Wednesday. Mr. Trump may have been bluffing about the tapes, but if they do exist, the White House won't be able to protect them for long. He adds he fully supports efforts to get all of the facts surrounding former FBI Director James Comey. House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz has requested that the Department of Justice produce all memos written by Mr. Comey, including the memo that reportedly claims that Mr. Trump said he hoped Mr. Comey would "wrap up the Michael Flynn investigation soon".

Simply put, it's preventing authorities - such as police or prosecutors - from doing the work of investigating and applying the law.

The Wisconsin Republican said he would not "micromanage" investigation and repeatedly said there are three separate ongoing Russian Federation investigations when asked if he thought a special prosecutor is necessary.

Trump removed Comey in the middle of an FBI investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election, and possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia.

"What I'm anxious about is, in the early 1970s, politicians like me were standing around saying, 'Nixon's okay, he didn't do anything, ' and look what it led to", he said. "Sure. But not against a president". And legal experts say it could be hard to prove the president crossed a line.

Under the law, Comey is required to immediately inform the Department of Justice of any attempt to obstruct justice by any person, even the President of the United States.

The nation's capital is abuzz with talk of impeachment, but President Donald Trump can probably thank the Founding Fathers, and political realism, that his job is safe - for now. "It's a disputed constitutional issue".

Even if possible, a criminal prosecution would have its hurdles. Obstruction of justice charges often come down to whether prosecutors can show a person "corruptly" meant to interfere with an investigation. He tried to micromanage the trial, granting presidential immunity to witnesses who would testify against his archenemy.

Proving Trump's mental state would be a tall task, but prosecutors could have some clues.

Comey writes that he replied to the president: "I agree he is a good guy".

"It's appropriate and timely for the Senate to hear directly from former Director James Comey in a public setting as part of the Senate Intelligence Committee's ongoing investigation", McConnell said in a statement to CQ Roll Call.

How far would you go to take down a corrupt president like Trump?

On Capitol Hill, Comey was clearly the man in demand, with three committees working to seat him at their witness tables.

In an effort to make the Federal Bureau of Investigation director somewhat independent of the President who appointed him, Congress made his term 10 years, thus assuring that he would serve beyond the term of that President. Nor is the Comey memo.

And I think it's much better to keep this a political issue and not to muddy the waters with legalisms, because, first of all, a sitting president being indicted, it's not going to happen.

Only two presidents, Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton some 130 years later, have been impeached.

Republicans now control both Houses of Congress, and they have shown heavy reluctance to condemn Trump's actions let alone impeach him.

But McConnell acknowledged that "it would be helpful to have less drama emanating from the White House".

Republican Senator John McCain compared the controversies enveloping Trump to the Watergate scandal that forced Republican President Richard Nixon to resign in 1974.

Days before he left office, Clinton reached a deal with independent counsel Robert Ray that spared Clinton possible indictment after leaving office. According to the White House statement, Trump acted based on "clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions".

Republican voices grow for independent Russian Federation probe