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Bush Ethics Chief: Comey Will Cost Trump The White House

President Trump may have set himself up for impeachment by firing FBI chief James Comey, the top ethics adviser in the George W. Bush administration suggested this week.

“The president has the right to fire the FBI director, but not the right the fire to FBI director in order to obstruct an ongoing investigation of the collaboration with the Russians,” the former official, Richard Painter, told MSNBC. ”And there’s obviously collaboration. They’ve got to stop denying that. The only question is whether it was illegal collaboration. But the obstruction of justice and the lying ultimately may be what puts an end to this White House. They are in serious trouble on this.”

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, another former head of the FBI, is coordinating a federal investigation of allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. The New York Times reported Wednesday that Mueller had asked the White House to turn over documents concerning Comey’s dismissal.

According to the newspaper, Mueller also wants to know more about the February firing of national security adviser Michael Flynn, who had phone conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States in December. Flynn allegedly promised that the incoming administration would lift sanctions former President Obama imposed on Russia. Mueller has asked for a transcript of the FBI’s interview with Flynn about the phone calls.

In addition, the special counsel is looking into Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador to the United States in May. The president told the Kremlin officials that firing Comey had taken “great pressure” off the administration. Trump made a similar statement in an NBC interview, when he admitted sacking Comey to thwart the FBI investigation of Russian election meddling.

Mueller is scrutinizing the actions of Trump family members, as well. He has demanded information about a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that involved Donald Trump Jr., presidential son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer connected to the Kremlin who allegedly claimed to have incriminating information about Hillary Clinton. The administration claimed in July, in a questionnaire the Times submitted, that the meeting was about the policy of allowing Americans to adopt Russian children.

Trump lawyer Ty Cobb claimed that the White House is cooperating with the investigation, and will provide all the documents by the end of the week. “We can’t comment on any specific requests being made or our conversations with the special counsel,” he said. The scope of the Trump-Russia probe continues to grow, with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort among the targets. Mueller also has asked for documents concerning Trump campaign foreign-policy advisers Carter Page, J.D. Gordon, Keith Kellogg, George Papadopoulos, Walid Phares and Joseph E. Schmitz.

Several U.S. intelligence agencies accuse Russian leader Vladimir Putin of ordering last summer’s hacking of computers used by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign chairman. WikiLeaks released the stolen emails, which damaged the Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign. Putin also may have been behind the spread of anti-Clinton “fake news” on social media during the race.

Source: HuffPost
Photo: YouTube

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