Comey agrees to testify before Senate intel committee

Former FBI director James Comey, who was sacked by President Donald Trump last week amid an agency probe into alleged Russian meddling in the US election, has agreed to testify before the US Senate Intelligence Committee at a public hearing, the committee said in a statement on Friday. The move, which came after Trump asked Comey for his loyalty and, according to memos written by the former FBI director, requested he kill an investigation into Trump’s top national security adviser, was seen as a clear violation of protocol and had some Democrats calling for impeachment.

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I”.

Mr Trump has denied any collusion with Russian Federation, and called the investigation into his campaign the “single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history”.

The president did not announce his pick for Federal Bureau of Investigation director before leaving Friday on his first foreign trip. Rosenstein said Comey “usurped” the authority of the Justice Department, first with his July 2016 press conference outlining Clinton’s alleged offenses and recommending no charges, and second with his October call to notify Congress the probe was being reopened.

‘I can not defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the almost universal judgment that he was mistaken, ‘ Rosenstein wrote – in a letter the White House released immediately after Trump fired Comey.

He’d previously said he might announce his nominee before he left.

On Friday, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein told Congress he stands by a memo he wrote bluntly criticising Mr Comey.

Cleaver said Rosenstein’s opening statement was “clear, concise” and had let those in the room know “this is a real investigation, looking into very real issues”. But lawmakers indicated after the Rosenstein briefings that the special counsel-led probe will look at all these factors.

‘Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader, ‘ Rosenstein said. The bureau is also probing whether Trump associates have business ties to Russian Federation and any connection between the Trump campaign and the hacking of Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign officials’ emails.

Trump said on Thursday that the appointment of a special counsel – which “hurts our country” – proves he is the subject of “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history”.

Trott says Rosenstein answered that he didn’t want to interfere with the independent investigation that will now be run by former FBI chief Robert Mueller.

Massachusetts Democratic congressman Seth Moulton says Rosenstein didn’t “do a lot to bolster our confidence in him”.

The president has defended the firing of Comey as justified and denied pressuring him to end the Flynn probe.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was returning to the Capitol on Friday for another closed-door session, this time with all members of the House.