Saturday, May 13, 2017

Senate panel investigating Russia outraged by Comey firing

The Senate Intelligence Committee is starting to examine potential ties between President Donald Trump’s associates and the Russian government, united in outrage after James Comey’s abrupt firing earlier this week.

Trump’s dismissal of Comey — widely seen as a trusted protector of the FBI’s parallel investigation into Russian efforts to manipulate the 2016 election — stunned members of the intelligence panel, and hung like a cloud as the committee worked to insulate its own probe.

Neither committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) nor Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) received a heads-up about Comey’s ouster. Burr called the incident “troubling,” and Warner called for a special prosecutor. The two presented a united front throughout the week, holding a joint, impromptu news conference Thursday and meeting quietly in person almost daily.

A day after Comey was fired, the panel announced it was subpoenaing national security adviser Michael Flynn following a unanimous vote. Flynn had refused to cooperate with the committee’s probe without the promise of immunity. Though it was not a direct response to Comey’s ouster — the panel had been weighing issuing the subpoena — the timing signaled a more aggressive posture for an investigation that had been plodding along quietly for months.  Read full story 

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