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Republican leaders cling to agenda amid White House chaos

20 May 2017

At best, President Trump has committed a grave abuse of executive power.

Even without resorting to the force of a congressional subpoena, the committee already has turned up key documents and prodded federal agencies into action in the months since Cummings first asked incoming Vice President Mike Pence for information about Flynn's possible conflicts of interest last November, soon after Trump won the presidential election.

"Speaker Ryan has shown he has zero, zero, zero appetite for any investigation of President Trump".

The appointment, following fresh controversy over the firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, was hailed by politicians on both sides of the aisle, as well as members of the security community. First, a majority of the House of Representatives would have to vote in favor of impeachment. They said they expected "conduct more appropriate" from Turkey, a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and a key US ally.

Trump is reeling from a bombshell report in the New York Times that he asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop a probe into ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The Flynn investigation was part of a broader probe into Russian interference in last year's presidential election.

Given the pace at which the scandals have piled up for the Trump White House, Warner said he and Burr "told our staff that in light of everything that's going on this week we need to put the pedal to the metal ― accelerate it". The Justice Department ginned up a memo about Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation as a pretext for his firing.

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Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the Senate, said: "It would be helpful to have less drama emanating from the White House".

"The Obama administration, the Bush administration: they would leak but they actually sought to impose great discipline on messaging and to contain the internal deliberations and speak with one voice - but this White House speaks with a million voices".

"White House leadership will be important in order to pass tax reform, and the administration's ability to lead politically is greatly in doubt", they write.

Chaffetz made the announcement a day after tweeting that he had invited ex-FBI Director James Comey to testify next week at a hearing of the oversight committee he chairs.

Flynn left his post in February after media reports that he misled the vice president about his contacts with Russian Federation.

"If these reports are true, the President's brazen attempt to shut down the FBI's investigation of Michael Flynn is an assault on the rule of law that is fundamental to our democracy".

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In a letter to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Chaffetz set a deadline of May 24 for the FBI to produce "all memoranda, notes, summaries, and recordings referring or relating to any communications between Comey and the President". But the White House has provided differing accounts of the firing.

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who took over last week after Comey was sacked, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that, "There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date". "Memos, transcripts, tapes - the list keeps getting longer", he said.

"I hope you can let this go", Mr Trump is alleged to have told Mr Comey. Comey said he replied that "I agree he is a good guy" but said nothing to Trump about limiting the investigation.

Gen Flynn was forced to resign just weeks into the job after it emerged he had met with Russian officials to discuss policy in the days before the inauguration. The American Civil Liberties Union announced Wednesday it would also ask for documentation of the conversation between Comey and Trump.

The Washington Post reported that Trump had shared highly-classified intelligence with the Russians about an Islamic State group terror threat - divulging secrets provided by a third party in a major breach of intelligence protocol. "I say to all of my colleagues in the Senate, history is watching". He used that phrase nine times in his briefing to reporters.

As the White House fought to shake off the latest Russia-linked controversy, Putin caused a stir by saying Moscow could provide a "recording" of Trump's meeting with his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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Israeli intelligence experts said they could not confirm whether an Israeli asset was the source.