A US Senate panel investigating possible Russian interference in US elections and possible collusion with President Donald Trump's campaign team has requested that James Comey, the sacked Federal Bureau of Investigation director, testify before its members.
The claim by fired FBI Director James B. Comey that President Trump asked him to shut down an investigation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn is potentially the most explosive development in the unfolding saga of investigations into possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 campaign.
It had already been a week of tumult at the White House after Trump dismissed Comey and then discussed sensitive national security information about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group with Sergey Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister.
"This is about what I believe". "I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt and there is no collusion", Trump told reporters.
Comey's memo, stemming from a February meeting with the president, has intensified calls for Comey to speak out, and for Congressional Republicans to scrutinize Mr. Trump's White House.
Pressure on the White House intensified after Trump fired Comey, who had been leading a federal probe into the matter, and allegations that Trump had asked Comey to end the FBI investigation into ties between Flynn and Russian Federation.
Flynn resigned from his White House post in February amid revelations that he discussed US sanctions with Russia's ambassador in the month before President Trump took office and misled top administration officials, including Vice President Pence, about the nature of the conversations.
A key issue Mueller may have to tackle is whether Trump has committed obstruction of justice, an offense that could be used in any effort in the Republican-led Congress to impeach him and remove him from office.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell added in a Bloomberg Television interview on Tuesday: "It would be helpful to have less drama emanating from the White House".
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said the case "impairs the willingness of other allies to share intelligence with us".
What does Michael Flynn's resignation mean for Trump?