Flynn reportedly told Trump's transition team about investigation before inauguration

Bill Clark  CQPHO

Bill Clark CQPHO

Sen. Charles Grassley, the chairman of the committee, and Democratic Sen.

Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are taking a wider view than their congressional counterparts.

Claims Mr Trump passed on secret intelligence to senior Russian envoys last week took a new twist yesterday when President Vladimir Putin made an extraordinary offer to provide a transcript of the Oval Office meeting.

Cummings also said Comey had indicated in the past that if he were to testify before Congress, he would do so based on his own terms.

A date has not been set for the public hearing. The White House is disputing a report that President Donald Trump asked Comey to shut down an investigation into ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn. "I don't know that you could say the same about the president".

Ryan declined to call for a special prosecutor in remarks to reporters earlier in the day and warned against "rushing to judgment".

In a written statement explaining his decision, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote that "a Special Counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome". John McCain, R. -Ariz., said the intelligence sharing was "deeply disturbing".

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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. Ultimately, any proof that Trump tried to meddle in an FBI investigation may result in obstruction of justice charges.

The decision came hours after a report by the New York Times that claimed Trump asked Comey to end the agency's investigation into ties between Michael Flynn, the former White House national security adviser, and Russian Federation. He has since been at the center of the furor from allegations that the Trump campaign had inappropriate ties and interactions with the Russian government before the election.

Erwin Chemerinsky, the newly named dean of Berkeley Law, told Media Matters via email that Trump's actions "are evidence of obstruction of justice" and that the current situation is "very comparable to what caused Nixon to resign". Spokespeople declined to comment further. Obstruction of justice charges often come down to whether prosecutors can show a person "corruptly" meant to interfere with an investigation.

According to the New York Times, Mr Comey wrote in a memo that the President told him: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go".

Other congressional staffers have even reached out to reporters to seek a current phone number for the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director. "In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country".

Rep. Mike Gallager, a Wisconsin Republican in his first term, tweeted "For the goal of transparency, the White House should share a transcript of the meeting with the House and Senate intelligence committees". "Director Mueller will still be in the chain of command under the Trump-appointed leadership of the Justice Department".

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