Would Trump request to end Flynn probe have broken law?

"But what it does do, is really just is bucking down the White House and the ability to deliver on promises".

While Trump and other officials have offered a panoply of reasons for Comey's firing last week, the ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into Russian influence on the 2016 election was cited as part of the reason for Trump's dissatisfaction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's performance.

"I think that he has welded together a kind of white identity politics which is holding him up pretty strongly", Parmar added.

The requested documents could shed new light on the controversies and could help stand up the media reports or vindicate the White House's version of events. Yet U.S. allies and some members of Congress have expressed alarm.

Some Republicans began to press for a more robust investigation of the White House.

Parmar pointed out that while Trump's national approval ratings now languish at around 40 percent; his support among core Republican voters remains strong, ranging between 80 and 96 percent.

In a freaky twist on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to turn over to Congress records of Trump's discussions. He argued the need for senators and congressman to progress with heavy legislative programs in the face of escalating political pressure is forcing them to consider publically disavowing Trump. While other officials alleged to have sought to stymie investigations would have to worry about criminal charges, there's broad consensus a president can't be charged criminally while he's in office.

Trump himself hasn't directly addressed the latest allegations that he pressured Comey to drop the Flynn investigation. A memo that Comey wrote after the meeting, which became public May 16, says Trump asked him to shut down the FBI investigation into Flynn and his Russian Federation ties.

Another prominent defense attorney who advised a client facing obstruction of justice allegations said the evidence to make such a case against Trump was still lacking.

"While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn", the statement said. Often lauded for his independence, Comey had come under intense scrutiny in past months for his role in the agency's investigation into the email practices of Trump's opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, including a pair of letters he sent to Congress on the matter in the final days of the campaign.

The usually circumspect Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, said on Tuesday morning that the party needed "less drama" from the president. The existence of the memo was first reported Tuesday by The New York Times. "If the president was being truthful in the threat to Director Comey that he had tapes or might have tapes, we are going to want to get a hold of those".

The White House vigorously denied it all.

If Mr Trump was impeached, convicted by the Senate and expelled from office, Vice President Mike Pence would take the oath of office and become President. But the White House has provided differing accounts of the firing.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he will ask Comey for additional material as part of the panel's investigation.

There is no sign the FBI's Russian Federation investigation is closing. Comey said he replied that "I agree he is a good guy" but said nothing to Trump about limiting the investigation. When that ended, Trump asked everyone to leave except Comey, and he eventually turned the conversation to Flynn.

Trump's presidency has been dogged by constant speculation pertaining to his election campaign's purported links to the Kremlin, which came to a head once again on Tuesday as it was reported he revealed classified information to senior Russian officials. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the president's comments were "wholly appropriate".

The explosive new development on Tuesday followed a week of tumult at the White House after Trump fired Comey and then discussed sensitive national security information about Islamic State with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

January 6, 2017: Comey is among a group of four top US intelligence officials who brief the president-elect on their conclusions that Russian Federation meddled in the presidential election on his behalf.

Associated Press writers Vivian Salama and Jill Colvin contributed.

  • Leroy Wright