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BANGKOK 19 January 2019 11:09
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Key Republican to ask FBI about report of Trump counterintelligence probe

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Key Republican to ask FBI about report of Trump counterintelligence probe

By Sarah N. Lynch

 

2019-01-13T170554Z_1_LYNXNPEF0C0LA_RTROPTP_4_MIDEAST-CRISIS-USA.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) waits for U.S. President Donald Trump to enter the room to speak about the "First Step Act" in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S. November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican head of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee said on Sunday he plans to ask the FBI about a report it launched a probe into whether President Donald Trump had been working on Russia's behalf, suggesting the agency may have gone too far.

 

"I am going to ask the FBI director - was there a counterintelligence investigation opened up regarding the president as being a potential agent of the Russians? I find it astonishing," Senator Lindsey Graham said on the "Fox News Sunday" program.

 

"If this really did happen, Congress needs to know about it," he added. "How could the FBI do that? What kinds of checks and balances are there?"

 

The New York Times reported on Friday that the FBI opened the counterintelligence investigation in 2017 after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey, out of concern the president's actions may have presented a threat to national security.

 

Comey at the time was leading an investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. U.S. intelligence agencies have said Moscow tried to tip the election to Trump. Russia has denied interfering, and Trump has said repeatedly there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

 

The Times reported the counterintelligence probe was sparked in part by growing alarm about Trump's behavior, including comments he made suggesting he fired Comey over the Russia investigation, which is now being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

 

Trump rejected the Times story on Saturday, telling Fox News it was "the most insulting article I've ever had written."

 

The FBI declined a request for comment. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who previously served as Trump's CIA director, blasted the Times story, when asked about it on the CBS "Face the Nation" show.

 

"The notion that President Trump is a threat to American national security is absolutely ludicrous."

 

Democratic lawmakers said on Sunday the report underscored the need for legislation to protect the Mueller probe.

 

"I do think it's curious that throughout that whole summer when these investigations started, you had (Russian President) Vladimir Putin's policies almost being parroted by Donald Trump," Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union" program.

 

'SERIOUS QUESTIONS'

Democrats also expressed concern about a report in the Washington Post on Saturday on alleged efforts by Trump to conceal details about his conversations with Putin. The paper reported that Trump took notes from his interpreter and instructed the person not to discuss the details of his conversations with others.

 

Reuters could not independently verify details of the Post report.

 

"When he takes the interpreter's notes and wants to destroy them so no one can see what was said ... it raises serious questions about the relationship between this president and Putin," the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin, said on ABC's "This Week."

 

In his appearance on Fox News on Saturday, Trump denied that he was keeping anything under wraps on his meetings with Putin.

 

Senator Chris Coons, a Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee, said he planned to press Trump's nominee for attorney general, William Barr, for a pledge to let Mueller complete his work.

 

Barr is scheduled to testify before the committee on Tuesday and Wednesday. If he is confirmed as attorney general, he would oversee the Russia probe.

 

"I would need a firm commitment that he will not allow any interference in the Mueller investigation," Coons said on "Fox News Sunday." He also said Barr must allow Mueller to release a copy of his final report to the public.

 

Barr, who served as attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush, sent an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department in June raising concerns about Mueller's investigation, and arguing that it was inappropriate for Mueller to look into whether Trump may have sought to undermine the probe.

 

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Tim Ahmann; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Peter Cooney)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-01-14

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22 minutes ago, farcanell said:

Lmao..... two years of republican majority congress and senate have skewered the concept of checks and balances, to put it politely.... but.... we are starting to see them now.

 

once the republican senate has looked into it, the congress and get their nose into it as well.... this should make for some entertaining tweets

You beat me to it. 

 

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"Forget about Trump for the moment. Just imagine any situation where a senior official in the administration appears to favour Russia, such as taking Russia's side against the advice of the various agencies (CIA, NSA etc) who are tasked with protecting the interests of the USA, having meetings with Putin with no officials present and where the translator was forced not to divulge the content of the meeting and had to hand over the notes (normally such meetings, even if classified, would be recorded for posterity)."

 

Ok, let's look at HRC, when she was Sec. State she had many meetings with donors to the "Foundation", where are the notes for posterity? Where are the notes for the Uranium deal? where are the notes for the meetings with the DNC while she was a government official? 

 

All I see is a picture of Trump with a baby in his mouth, dripping blood, whenever a "democrat" makes a comment about Trump!

 

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Trump futures are down... stay tuned. The only fly in the ointment is that next in line is Trump’s butler, Mike Pence.

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8 hours ago, Boon Mee said:

The Deep State has certainly gone to extreme lengths to 'get' Trump. 

All with nothing to show for their time and effort. 

Just another "Nothingburger" 

Mr. Barr's 20 page memo to the DOJ suggesting Mueller must have evidence of  a crime and not a debatable one surely raises the bar for actual proof .

  The report  first goes to Mr. Barr,hopefully Mr. Barr and the  department within the DOJ "Office of Legal Counsel,OLC, the same one that concluded that Mr. Whitaker is qualified to act as a temporary AG will scrutinize the report for any   inconsistencies,and irregularities pertaining to all the statues that he so carefully stated !

Most importantly when the  Constitutional act of Executive Privilege arises, that it will be adhered to what the framers expressly states in the Constitution, "Executive privilege gives the president the ability to withhold information from the public, Congress, and the courts in national security and diplomatic affairs" despite what the WP says about ridiculous claims of concealment of putin notes !

 

 Mr. Barr said."It is time to travel down well worn paths,not to veer into novel,unsettled or contested areas of the law and not to indulge in the fancies of over zealous prosecutors"

 https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/5638883/June-2018-Barr-Memo-to-DOJ-Mueller-s-Obstruction.pdf

 

Edited by riclag
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"Most importantly when the  Constitutional act of Executive Privilege arises, that it will be adhered to what the framers expressly states in the Constitution, "Executive privilege gives the president the ability to withhold information from the public, Congress, and the courts in national security and diplomatic affairs" despite what the WP says about ridiculous claims of concealment of putin notes !"

Finally we find out where Trumps gets his ridiculous ideas about the Constitution. Clearly, you are Trump's Constitutional advisor. 

 

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