US Investigation of Russian ties more comprehensive
Former CIA director and Trump critic John Brennan testifies in the Russian ties case. The president himself calls the appointment of a specialist investigator for a witch hunt.
Former CIA Director John Brennan will Tuesday meet in the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives, to answer questions about the Russian ties investigation.
Before Brennan was replaced in January, he strongly criticized president elect Donald Trump. Among other things Brennan believes that Trump does not properly understand the threat Russia poses to the United States. The CIA boss also states that Trump’s “talk and tweet” is not in the nation’s interest.
Four investigations of Russian ties
The House of Representatives in Congress are investigating alleged contacts between Russia and Trump & Co before the presidential election. As are the FBI and the Intelligence Committee in the Senate.
Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, also appoints former FBI chief Robert Mueller to investigate the alleged Russian interference in the presidential election. Included are any links between the Trump campaigning and Russia.
The White House was not informed until after the nomination was signed, according to the news agency AP’s sources. Trump’s response was apparently positive.
– A thorough investigation will confirm what we already know. There was no cooperation between my election campaign and any foreign person or group. I look forward to this matter quickly gets to a conclusion, Trump said then.
Now, the tone the reaction is the opposite.
– The biggest witch hunt against a politician in US history, Trump tweets.
Wide powers of attorney
Both Democratic and Republican politicians reacts positively to the appointment of Mueller. He has the power to investigate all “links and / or coordination between Russian authorities and persons associated with the election campaign of President Donald John Trump”.
As a specialist investigator, Mueller will formally respond to Deputy Justice Minister Rosenstein – and thereby to Trump. But Trump can not fire Mueller.
The Special Investigator has a large amount of independence. He can decide whether he will inform the Justice Department about the investigation or not, writes The New York Times. Mueller also has the power of attorney.
FBI director Comey
The mandate further implies that he can investigate “any matter that occur or arise directly from the investigation”. That means according to news agency AP, that Mueller can investigate Trumps firing of the FBI director James Comey.
Trump booted Comey on Tuesday May 9, and the president said afterwards that he thought about “this Russian ties case” when he took the decision.
Tuesday The New York Times quoted a note from Comey where it appears that Trump in February asked him to terminate the investigation of the former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn’s relations with Russia.
Reuters reports that Flynn and other Trump employees had contact with Russian relations on at least 18 occasions during the last seven months of the election campaign.
National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn
The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked Flynn to hand over private documents in the case. So far Flynn has not answered the request.
The Committee Thursday asks the FBI and Department of Justice to hand over documents relating to the conversations between Comey and President Trump.
The request is part of the ongoing investigation. The committee is trying to find out what was said in the talks between Trump and Comey regarding alleged Russian interference in the election.
Before Trump fired Comey he, according to a memo, asked the FBI boss to terminate the investigation of Flynn’s ties to Russia.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) May 17, 2017
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