Trump asked Comey to shut down Flynn investigation

"But on the other hand you have to realize that - as with any other sort of criminal law - intent is key, and intent here can be hard to prove".

The Republican chairman of the House oversight committee says he plans to demand that the Justice Department turn over all memos written by former FBI Director James Comey concerning his past meetings with President Donald Trump.

Comey, who was known to keep a paper trail of sensitive meetings, chronicled the president's request soon after the February Oval Office meeting with the president, an associate who has seen the memo told The Associated Press.

In other words, as a practical matter, the Constitution's standards for impeachment and removal of a president - if he has committed "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" - are met by anything that a majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate are willing to vote for.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

"Asking FBI to drop an investigation is obstruction of justice", Representative Ted Deutch, D-Florida., wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

Mark Warner of Virginia, top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said he would ask Comey for additional material as part of that panel's investigation.

"It depends on what he said and how he said it", said Edward MacMahon Jr., another criminal defense lawyer.

Prominent US senator Bernie Sanders once again called for a special prosecutor to be appointed in order to conduct a fair investigation into the allegations. "It just depends on how it's done". Amy Klobuchar recently told BuzzFeed Newsthat, in lieu of focusing on impeachment right now, "I think you have to look at all the evidence". "If you wanted it stopped because you didn't want to disclose national security information, that's something provided by statute". "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", a White House statement said.

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Mr Comey was sacked by the President last week.

That is important, analysts said, because if the president were merely asserting that "he personally knows the target of the investigation and he's just trying to provide his two cents", that might not present him any legal problems, Cohen said. The Democrats are contemplating a scorched-earth war over the Comey firing, using the Senate's many opportunities for obstruction to slow an already lethargic legislative process. Comey created several memos of encounters with Trump to ensure that a record would exist of conversations he found odd or troubling, according to the person. If that is true, those could be critical to proving whose account of the meeting is accurate.

But Mr Comey did not say anything to Mr Trump about limiting the investigation, replying, I agree he is a good guy.

Let's put aside the possibility that Trump was deliberately giving information to Russian Federation as part of a deliberate, long-term quid pro quo going back to the campaign. He sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to not-so-humbly request every possible scrap of correspondence - written, spoken, mimed - betwixt Comey and Trump.

"You can't intimidate investigations, you can't attempt to influence them", said John Fitzgibbons.

When the FBI was investigating Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, President Barack Obama notably said in an interview with Fox News, "I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America's national security".

Comey is the kind of adversary that no White House would relish.

"U.S. officials said that the National Security Council continues to prepare multipage briefings for Trump to guide him through conversations with foreign leaders but that he has insisted that the guidance be distilled to a single page of bullet points, and often ignores those". With a lower-profile target, he said, "maybe prosecutors might be aggressive enough to bring a case", but "it also arguably undermines democracy for prosecutors to go after a sitting president with only circumstantial evidence". For an ordinary president, the growing threat of such impeachment-a recent poll, for instance, shows that 48 percent of Americans now support it-might be cause for some concern.

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