Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Director of National Intelligence: Trump Asked Me to Block FBI Probe


The rats will likely be speeding up their evacuation of the S.S. Trump, in light of a new breaking news story from the Washington Post which reports that Donald Trump asked Daniel Coats, Director of National Intelligence, to pressure then FBI Director James Comey to end the investigation into Trump BFF Michael Flynn.  Stated another way, Coats shared this information with his associates and will likely find himself as another witness, willingly or not, as to Trump's obstruction of justice efforts.   Meanwhile, Yahoo News reports as follows:
Top lawyers with at least four major law firms rebuffed White House overtures to represent President Trump in the Russia investigations: Brendan Sullivan of Williams & Connolly; Ted Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Paul Clement and Mark Filip of Kirkland & Ellis; and Robert Giuffra of Sullivan & Cromwell. . . . .“The concerns were, ‘The guy won’t pay and he won’t listen,’” said one lawyer close to the White House who is familiar with some of the discussions between the firms and the administration, as well as deliberations within the firms themselves.
It would seem that we are thus rapidly approaching a reprise of Watergate.  The sole question is whether or not Congressional Republicans will put the nation first and act as Watergate era Republicans did, or instead tacitly subvert the law and the Constitution.  Here are highlights from the Post  breaking news story:
The nation’s top intelligence official told associates in March that President Trump asked him if he could intervene with then-FBI Director James B. Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russia probe, according to officials.
On March 22, less than a week after being confirmed by the Senate, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats attended a briefing at the White House together with officials from several government agencies. As the briefing was wrapping up, Trump asked everyone to leave the room except for Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
The president then started complaining about the FBI investigation and Comey’s handling of it, said officials familiar with the account Coats gave to associates. Two days earlier, Comey had confirmed in a congressional hearing that the bureau was probing whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 race.
 
After the encounter, Coats discussed the conversation with other officials and decided that intervening with Comey as Trump had suggested would be inappropriate, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal matters.
 
The events involving Coats show the president went further than just asking intelligence officials to deny publicly the existence of any evidence showing collusion during the 2016 election, as The Washington Post reported in May. The interaction with Coats indicates that Trump aimed to enlist top officials to have Comey curtail the bureau’s probe.
 
Coats will testify on Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Lawmakers on the panel said they would press him for information about his interactions with the president regarding the FBI investigation.
The question of whether the president obstructed the Russia investigation is expected to take center stage this week with Comey’s highly anticipated testimony on the Hill on Thursday. Comey associates say that before the director was fired in May, the president had asked him to drop the investigation into Flynn, and Comey refused.
In an appearance last month before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Coats refused to provide details about his interactions with Trump.
But he indicated that he would cooperate with the Russia probe now being led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Under questioning by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Coats said that if asked, he would provide details of his conversations with Trump to Mueller.
Coats also said that if he is called before an investigative committee, such as the Senate Intelligence Committee, “I certainly will provide them with what I know and what I don’t know.” He said the Trump administration had not directed the ODNI to withhold information from members of Congress conducting oversight.
Let's hope the steamroller is about to run over Der Trumpenf├╝hrer and, if we are lucky, many others in the Trump/Pence regime.

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