James Comey memo could thrust Trump into a deeper legal quagmire

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The Justice Department declined to comment.

The Yedioth source assessed that the "highly sensitive" information disclosed by Trump to Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and its U.S. ambassador Sergey Kislyak was handed over recently in several meetings with USA officials on the situation in Syria. 'This is what caused President Nixon to resign from office'.

Despite the White House's denials, the Times described "the existence of Mr. Trump's request" for an investigative slowdown as 'the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump's associates and Russian Federation'.

'For the president to tell the FBI to end a potential criminal investigation, that's obstruction of justice, ' said Erwin Chereminsky, a constitutional law professor and dean of University of California, Irvine School of Law. The White House is disputing a report that President Donald Trump asked C.

Defending Trump's actions, officials played down the importance and secrecy of the information, which had been supplied by Israel under an intelligence-sharing agreement, and Trump himself said he had "an absolute right" as president to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russian Federation.

On Tuesday, an associate revealed that Comey had written a memo in which he described Trump asking him to shut down an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The Times said Mr Trump told Mr Comey, "I hope you can let this go".

Mr Trump abruptly fired Mr Comey last week, saying he did so based on his very public handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.

The White House quickly responded to the Times story, claiming in a statement that 'the President has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn'. But the White House has provided differing accounts of the firing.

News Tuesday of Trump's request of Comey immediately renewed concerns from congressional Democrats that Trump was trying to obstruct an investigation that's been examining potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

'All of the evidence - including transcripts, tapes, memos, and other documents - must be subpoenaed immediately.

Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president shortly after it took place, according to the Times, citing two people who read the memo. If Trump were speaking to Comey "solely out of sympathy or good will for Flynn, Trump would have a good argument that he lacked criminal intent", Zeidenberg said.

"The president wasn't even aware where this information came from", he said. He used that phrase nine times in his briefing to reporters.

The White House has grown suspicious about the volume and timing of the seemingly never-ending stream of leaks about the president, said one senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity to reflect on the feeling inside the West Wing.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman maintained that Israeli and American security cooperation will not change in light of revelations that President Trump gave sensitive Israeli information to the Russians on the Islamic State threat.

"Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump", said Israel's ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer.

"On a day when we thought things couldn't get any worse, they have", Schumer said.

Associated Press writers Vivian Salama and Jill Colvin contributed.

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