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Washington - Trump Tweets About Russia Probe Spark Warnings From Lawmakers

Published on: December 3, 2017 10:00 PM
By: Reuters 
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks with reporters ahead of the party luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks with reporters ahead of the party luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Washington - A series of tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump about the investigation into contacts between his 2016 campaign and Russia prompted concerns on Sunday among both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham saying Trump could be wading into “peril” by commenting on the probe.

“I would just say this with the president: There’s an ongoing criminal investigation,” Graham said on the CBS program “Face the Nation.”

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“You tweet and comment regarding ongoing criminal investigations at your own peril,” he added.

On Sunday morning, Trump wrote on Twitter that he never asked former FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating Michael Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser - a statement at odds with an account Comey himself has given.

That tweet followed one on Saturday in which Trump said he had fired Flynn because the former national security adviser had lied to the FBI.

Trump’s attorney, John Dowd, said in an interview with Reuters that he had drafted the tweet and said putting it together had been a “mistake.”

“I’ll take responsibility,” Dowd said.

The series of tweets came after a dramatic turn of events on Friday in which Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors delving into contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russia before he took office.

Legal experts and some Democratic lawmakers said if Trump knew Flynn lied to the FBI and then pressured Comey not to investigate him, that could bolster a charge of obstruction of justice.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she believed the indictments in the investigation so far and Trump’s “continual tweets” point toward an obstruction of justice case.

“I see it most importantly in what happened with the firing of Director Comey. And it is my belief that that is directly because he did not agree to lift the cloud of the Russia investigation. That’s obstruction of justice,” Feinstein said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“The president knew he (Flynn) had lied to the FBI, which means that when he talked to the FBI director and asked him effectively drop this case, he knew that Flynn had committed a federal crime,” Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told the ABC program “This Week.”

The Russia matter has dogged Trump’s first year in office, and this weekend overshadowed his first big legislative win when the Senate approved a tax cuts bill.

Flynn was the first member of Trump’s administration to plead guilty to a crime uncovered by special counsel Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. election and potential collusion by Trump aides.

Russia has denied meddling in the election and Trump has said there was no collusion.

Comey, who had been investigating the Russia allegations, was fired by Trump in May. He told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee in June he believed his dismissal was related to the Russia probe, and said Trump asked him to end the investigation of Flynn.

“I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!” Trump said on Twitter on Sunday.

On CBS, Graham criticized Comey, saying he believes the former FBI director made some “very, very wrong” decisions during his tenure as FBI director. But Graham also said Trump should be careful about his tweets.

“I’d be careful if I were you, Mr. President. I’d watch this,” Graham said.



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Read Comments (6)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 04, 2017 at 07:59 AM Educated Archy Says:

And the fake news keeps dreaming about Trumps removal . Don't forget that all muller can do is suggest trump be impeached then you need 2/3 of congress to remove . Good luck dreamers . Fake charges and fake dreams

Trumpisprez4-8

2

 Dec 04, 2017 at 08:45 AM georgeg Says:

Just how would Trump know that Flynn lied? From the same place that Obama had already known earlier, as evidenced by the story (according to early news reports) that Obama told Trump not to hire Flynn. Namely, from the FBI. And it is up to the boss (the President) to tell the employees (FBI) how to prioritize, and the nature of the Flynn offence was so minor that draining further resources on such a matter distracted from real work. I remember when Obama administration was taken to court for not enforcing (or the way it enforced) laws A, B and C and the judge ruled then also that that there was no discrimination in enforcement, just prioritization, because (the judge noted) that the executive has to prioritize its resources.

3

 Dec 04, 2017 at 09:25 AM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #1  
Educated Archy Says:

And the fake news keeps dreaming about Trumps removal . Don't forget that all muller can do is suggest trump be impeached then you need 2/3 of congress to remove . Good luck dreamers . Fake charges and fake dreams

Trumpisprez4-8

...fake President, Archie.

It's too soon to tell, as no mortal (except, of course, for you, oh Educated Archie, knows the future), but I'd wager the President's legacy will fall in the direction of Nixon's...only further south.

4

 Dec 04, 2017 at 09:28 AM yamsar Says:

Reply to #1  
Educated Archy Says:

And the fake news keeps dreaming about Trumps removal . Don't forget that all muller can do is suggest trump be impeached then you need 2/3 of congress to remove . Good luck dreamers . Fake charges and fake dreams

Trumpisprez4-8

I agree with you that it’s a far shot. However, if public opinion shifts away from Trump, and the politicians feel their future is at stake then there may actually be a chance for it to happen. Also, it’s still too early to know. Once the investigation is wrapped up there may be other surprises.

5

 Dec 04, 2017 at 10:22 AM Anonymous Says:

keep talking, mr. president
you are digging your own grave.
perfect - no other humans were involved in this tragedy.
yoffi

6

 Dec 04, 2017 at 11:21 AM Educated Archy i Says:

Reply to #3  
yonasonw Says:

...fake President, Archie.

It's too soon to tell, as no mortal (except, of course, for you, oh Educated Archie, knows the future), but I'd wager the President's legacy will fall in the direction of Nixon's...only further south.

I have news for you . Nixon was actually a great president . There is a reason he crushed in 72. He did one stupid thing but was a good president . It's a shame he was impeached and resigned . The country would have been better off had he stuck it out because he was doing a great job . Short of Reagan , Nixon was the best president .

If Trumps legacy is that if Nixon that's great

7

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