Trump asked FBI's Comey to drop Flynn inquiry

US share futures and the dollar tumble in Asian trade on Wednesday after reports President Donald Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation into Michael Flynn.

"The White House pushed back against the version of events in Mr Comey's memo with a statement emailed to reporters saying Mr Trump "has never asked Mr Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn" and the description in the purported memo 'is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr Comey".

It promises to have grave implications for the longevity of an administration that appears to slip deeper into utter disarray by the hour.

"Obviously, they're in a downward spiral right now", Corker said of the White House.

"Regardless of the ultimate conclusion of the political storm over Trump's actions on Russian Federation and the security services, it will at the very least linger as a distraction that makes it more hard for the White House to pass pro-growth policies", said Sean Callow, a senior currency strategist. CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin explained why that is so significant.

Gergen suggested the situation was so serious following Tuesday's revelations that America could be on the cusp of a new impeachment drama.

Then there was the Comey firing itself, which Trump even admitted had something to do with the Russian investigation.

During the meeting, the president asked him to drop the FBI investigation, Comey's memo said.

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In theory, yes. Such statutes were broadly drafted.Ms Julie O'Sullivan, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches white-collar criminal law at Georgetown University, said the power relationship between a president and the FBI director could elevate a request to shut down a case into an act that amounts to impeding an official investigation.

News Tuesday of Trump's request of Comey immediately renewed concerns from congressional Democrats that Trump was trying to obstruct an investigation that's been examining potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. Trump is said to not be looking forward to the trip.

He and other Democrats said Mr Comey must testify before lawmakers about his conversations with the president.

The Republican Congress hasn't exactly been holding Trump's feet to the fire in the first few months of his administration.

But that may be changing.

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.

Chaffetz tweeted later: "I have my subpoena pen ready".

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., emphatically said he's not commenting on news stories anymore. "And in fact when I chose to just do it, I said to myself, you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won". I think we know enough now.

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But obstruction of justice is a tricky issue both criminally and politically.

Ten years ago, Comey, then acting attorney general, rushed to a Washington hospital to thwart an attempt by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and White House chief of staff Andy Card to get a seriously ill Attorney General John Ashcroft to reauthorize a surveillance program.

That intervention made him a hero for Democrats. In other words, it's yet another example showing that the president of the United States is either incapable of or unwilling to learn what he needs to know to function even minimally in his job. ("Talk is cheap", "The stakes are high.") And if anything was going wrong, it was all Nancy Pelosi's fault, a go-to Republican concept for the last 10 years.

Trump lauded Comey for his conduct.

Comey's political misadventures may offer Republicans a chance to question his motives should he testify, and the GOP is in a mood to defend its president, whose antics in recent days have sorely tested the patience of his supporters.

And there's no guarantee that the White House can get its story straight.

Kasich and Sanders got into a heated argument over whether they considered Trump a liar or not. It is vital that Congress obtain these memos and hear public testimony from former Director Comey. The meeting, which came the day following Trump's dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, struck many as being extremely fishy. "Trump has made admissions about that". After firing him, Trump told NBC News that the Federal Bureau of Investigation director was a "showboat" and a "grandstander" whom he had been planning to jettison for months. The longtime GOP stronghold went for President Donald Trump by just 1 percent in November. If Trump allies fail to paint Comey as a discredited figure, he could impose deep political damage on the President.

"I'm hard-pressed to think of another time that someone has put his finger on the scale as brazenly as President Trump has".

Steve Price: Australia considering in-flight laptop ban
But the security and safety issues of bundling the devices in the cargo hold of aircraft is also being weighed up. PM indicates Australia might consider the ban on some global flights.

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