Mueller cleared by US ethics experts to head Russia probe

The revelations, first reported by The Washington Post, deepen the intrigue over alleged links between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation as they follow the President's firing of Comey and his subsequent statement he did so because of the Russian Federation probe. Both Coats and Rogers denied the president's request and they are now coming forward with these very serious allegations.

After the President fired Comey on May 9, stories surfaced that Trump had urged Comey to back off his investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

In a statement to reporters, a White House official said the hearings showed "there is still no evidence of any Russia-Trump campaign collusion". "The president will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people".

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and ranted against the investigations into his campaign's alleged ties to Russian Federation repeatedly through a series of email rants, calling the probe a "witch hunt".

More comes out about President Trump interfering in the investigation of Russian connections with his campaign.

In response to the report, a White House official pointed out that acting FBI director Andrew McCabe had testified last week that there had been "no effort to impede our investigation to date".

Justice Department ethics experts Tuesday cleared Robert Mueller to lead the Russian Federation probe, The Washington Post reported.

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Coats was uncomfortable with the nature of the President's request and refused to comply, the sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN. NBC News confirmed the existence of the memo, citing an N.S.A. official who also said that Coats and Rogers discussed their respective interactions with Trump.

PREVIOUS | Senate confirms former Indiana Sen. Rogers added that he would not talk about classified matters in public. Coats was sworn in just days before the president made his request.

US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on worldwide threats, on Capitol Hill in Washington May 23, 2017.

Several congressional panels are also investigating Russian meddling in the election, including hacking into the computer of Clinton's campaign chief, John Podesta, and the subsequent release of thousands of his emails by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks that showed embarrassing behind-the-scenes efforts by Democratic operatives to help Clinton win the party's presidential nomination.

Robert Mueller became Federal Bureau of Investigation director just days before 9/11.

Coats, a Republican from IN, previously served IN the US Senate from 1989 until 1999 before becoming the US ambassador to Germany IN the first term of President George W. Bush's administration. It is unclear if a similar memo documented Mr Trump's conversation with Mr Coats.

Mueller is in control of the total staff size he will need to conduct the investigation, but he is required to put together an operational budget overseen by Justice officials, Lofthus said.

  • Michelle Webb