The president backed down only after Donald McGahn II, the White House counsel, threatened to quit rather than execute Trump's order.
Brushing aside opposition from the Justice Department, Republicans on the House intelligence committee voted to release a classified memo that purports to show improper use of surveillance by the FBI and the Justice Department in the Russian Federation investigation.
The Washington Post is reporting that Robert Mueller hopes to speak with the President and "is seeking to question President Trump in the coming weeks about his decisions to oust national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with his plans".
Weich said that the Nunes memo put the House in "uncharted territory", and that he found it "deeply disturbing" that the president would disagree with the judgment of Justice Department officials.
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"Indeed, we do not understand why the Committee would possibly seek to disclose classified and law enforcement sensitive information without first consulting with the relevant members of the Intelligence Community", Boyd stated. "My view is that's bologna, that's just wrong", Ray said Monday. As for the president's apparent desire to have Sessions prosecute Mueller, it is unclear precisely what charges would be filed against the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, should the administration ever actually go that far.
Conaway said the memo could be released within the five-day window if Trump signals his approval for releasing it.
Weich, Litt, and other former senior Justice Department officials told BuzzFeed News that they were unaware of any previous situation when the House intelligence committee had invoked the disclosure rule at issue now.
Some Republican senators have said they don't want to release the memo, and Democrats have pushed back on Republican criticism of the FBI, saying it is an attempt to discredit Mueller's investigation.
"This is a small legislative matter that would take current regulations and make them law that say that if the special counsel were abruptly removed without cause, the counsel could find his way to be reinstated through a three-judge panel", Coons said. And far from terminating the Russian Federation investigation, Trump told Comey it would be useful to find out if some of his "satellite" subordinates had done something wrong.