Fired FBI official at center of Flynn, Clinton, dossier controversies revealed

US-POLITICS-CONGRESS-INTELLIGENCE

President Trump denied any attempt to obstruct an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Sunday, while lawmakers said the president's own comments raised new questions about him and the probe into Russians who interfered in last year's presidential election.

Prosecutors say Flynn asked Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak last December to "not escalate the situation" after the outgoing Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia in retaliation for suspected election interference.

Before Peter Strzok was reassigned to the FBI's human resources department in July amid allegations that he sent text messages critical of the president to a coworker he was allegedly having an affair with, he served as deputy head of counterintelligence.

Trump has not said whether he would travel to Alabama and campaign for Moore.

Strzok, one of the lead investigators into Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information on her private server, played a similar leading role in investigating the Trump campaign's supposed ties to Russian officials seeking to undermine the 2016 election.

The changes were revealed after Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley requested the electronic "metadata", which shows who created "the original drafts, who made the edits to the draft statement, and when those edits were made", the outlet reports.

"A lot of the heavy breathing and a lot of the speculation" surrounding the Flynn guilty plea "is completely unwarranted", Mukasey told ABC's This Week. Trump fired Flynn for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia. No person is above the law, and think about this: "Would the framers [of the U.S. Constitution] have intended such a scenario?"

The latest revelation is almost certain to give additional ammunition to critics of the ongoing Russia probe. The first is offensive, to direct it as a weapon against his political enemies. "There was nothing to hide!" "But there has never been a case in history where a president has been charged with obstruction of justice for merely exercising his constitutional authority". "And the FBI is, and always will be, independent".

Fox News reported in an exclusive Monday that the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General is reviewing the role Strzok played in the Clinton email investigation. A Dec. 29 email from K.T. McFarland, a transition adviser to Trump, suggested that Russian sanctions announced by the Obama administration had been aimed at discrediting Mr. Trump's victory. He changed a phrase referring to Clinton's email actions as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless".

Peskov's remarks came as Russian lawmakers prepared to ban US media outlets from the premises of the lower house of the legislature, the State Duma.

Update: A spokesman for the FBI contacted The Daily Caller after this article was published to say that the bureau did not block information about Strzok from the bureau's website. He is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Trump turned to Twitter again later Saturday night, railing about why Flynn was prosecuted but his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton was not for her alleged misdeeds. The agent had also worked on the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. Trump has shown no compunction in asserting his belief that, now that he controls the presidency, if Trump demands the FBI lock somebody up, they should lock her up.

"You need clearly illegal acts" to pin down a president with an obstruction of justice charge, Dershowitz said. Trump and many of his supporters have at times sought to discredit the integrity of the investigation, in part by claiming a close relationship between Mueller and Comey and by pointing to political contributions to Democrats made by some lawyers on the team.

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