Senators to ask about Trump pushback on Russia investigation
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 07, 2017,
Jun 07, 2017, 18:01
While the intended focus of Wednesday's hearing is the foreign intelligence surveillance law, other senators have said they plan to question Coats, Rogers, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about whether the president meant to derail the Russian Federation investigation when he fired Comey.
USA senators are set to hear testimony from top security officials on the FBI's probe into Russia's alleged meddling in the US election previous year and fallout from the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Trump's official schedule is clear before his first event at 12:30 p.m. ET, but White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters the president had a very busy day ahead of him. As the briefing was wrapping up, Trump asked everyone to leave the room except for Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Trump announced in January that he was nominating Coats to serve as DNI, an office which is responsible for overseeing USA intelligence agencies and for briefing the president on global developments. "However, he has never felt pressured by the President or anyone else in the Administration to influence any intelligence matters or ongoing investigations".
The Justice Department declined to comment late Tuesday on Comey's reported contact with Sessions. Both were appointed to their positions by Trump.
Phrases like "obstruction of justice" are being tossed around.
Former FBI Director James Comey is set to testify Thursday regarding an investigation into Russia's alleged interference with the U.S. Presidential election.
However, officials ultimately concluded that the optics of taking that step would be worse than the risk of letting the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director testify freely.
The president might do so Thursday during Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee using his favorite method of communication: Twitter.
On Wednesday, intelligence and Justice Department chiefs will testify on the law governing America's collection of foreign intelligence. While not part of the Russian Federation investigation, the hearing will provide an opportunity for lawmakers to ask Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about a memo he wrote that the White House initially cited as justification for Comey's dismissal.
Trump's surrogates may have said earlier this week that the President will not block Comey from testifying by claiming executive privilege.
Trump, a ratings-obsessed former reality television star, may not appreciate the worldwide attention paid to Comey's public testimony, which is being touted as the Super Bowl of high political drama.
Coats also said that if he is called before an investigative committee, such as the Senate Intelligence Committee, "I certainly will provide them with what I know and what I don't know".
After Comey was sacked, details of a dinner between him and Trump were leaked to the New York Times, which led to the president saying in a tweet Comey should hope there were no recordings of their conversations.
If Sessions were to quit as attorney-general, he will face an incentive to do it quickly.
Sessions resigned as the senator from Alabama to take the gig.
Neither the White House nor Sessions' office commented on the report of his offer to resign.
Comey believes that his own feelings about the President's comments are largely "irrelevant", the source said, and that his account of what happened is the central issue.
"We have no smoking gun at this point, but there is a lot of smoke".
Clapper revealed Trump spoke to him of his hopes of friendlier relations with the Kremlin.
Adding to the drama, a top-secret NSA report leaked to online news outlet The Intercept shows that hackers from Russian military intelligence repeatedly tried to break into United States voting systems before last year's presidential election. "That is just not gonna happen".