The Latest: Feinstein wants ‘all-hands-on-deck’ Trump probe – Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the investigation into his campaign’s potential ties to Russia (all times local):

1 p.m.

Most Democrats are being cautious about whether President Donald Trump might have obstructed justice in the Russia investigation and his dealings with fired FBI chief James Comey. Obstruction is a serious and complicated matter.

But the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee says it’s a question worth examining.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California wants the committee to investigate “all matters related to obstruction of justice and use its subpoena authority if necessary.”

So she says in a letter to the committee’s chairman, GOP Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa.

Feinstein tells CNN’S “State of the Union” she won’t draw any conclusions about obstruction until the matter is investigated.

Comey testified last week to the Intelligence committee. Feinstein says that with the president’s integrity at issue, it should be “all hands on deck” for lawmakers trying to get to the bottom of what happened.


12:30 p.m.

A Republican senator is taking President Donald Trump to task for not clearing up a burning question: whether he has tape recordings of his conversations with his then-FBI Director James Comey.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says Trump had a chance to settle the matter when he held a news conference Friday at the White House, but he didn’t.

Her opinion: “He should give a straight yes or no to the answer — to the question of whether or not the tapes exist.” And she says the president should voluntarily hand them over to the Senate Intelligence committee and the special counsel.

Collins tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that she doesn’t “think a subpoena should be necessary.” And she doesn’t “understand why the president just doesn’t clear this matter up once and for all.”


12:15 p.m.

A Democratic senator says she shares a sense of unease James Comey had when it came to the Obama administration and the need to ensure the FBI’s independence.

The former bureau director touched on this issue during his testimony last week before the Senate Intelligence committee.

He described an episode during the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Comey said then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch directed him “not to call it an investigation but to call it a matter.”

Comey said the FBI “had an investigation open at the time so that gave me a queasy feeling.”

A committee member, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that she also “would have a queasy feeling” and thinks Congress needs to know more.


10 a.m.

A Democratic senator says he expects tough questions for Attorney General Jeff Sessions about his involvement in the firing of FBI Director James Comey when he testifies to Congress on Tuesday.

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island is an ex officio member of the Senate Intelligence committee.

Reed says “there’s a real question of the propriety” of Sessions’ involvement in Comey’s dismissal, since Sessions had recused himself from the federal probe into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign. Comey was leading that probe.

Reed says he also wants to know if Sessions had additional contacts with Russian officials during the presidential campaign that were not previously disclosed.

It is not yet known whether Session will testify to the committee in public or private.

Reed spoke on “Fox News Sunday.”


9:15 a.m.

The New York City federal prosecutor who expected to remain on the job when Donald Trump took office but ended up being fired says he was made uncomfortable by one-on-one interactions with the president — just like James Comey was.

Preet Bharara (buh-RAH’-ruh) tells ABC’s “This Week” that he thinks Trump was trying to “cultivate some kind of relationship” with him.

Bharara says he found it “very weird and peculiar” to be drawn into private conversations with the president.

After the election but before the inauguration, Trump asked Bharara to stay on as U.S. attorney in Manhattan when they met at Trump Tower.

Bharara says Trump called him twice before the inauguration, to “shoot the breeze.”

Trump reached out again as president, but Bharara says he refused to return the call, because he considered these contacts inappropriate. Bharara was asked for his resignation, along with other U.S. attorneys, but he refused and was fired.

Bharara says he’s not accusing Trump of pressing him on any particular case. But he says it’s discomfiting for a president to be in private communication with top prosecutors.


8:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is predicting that former FBI Director James Comey’s “leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible.” Trump says on Twitter, “Totally illegal? Very ‘cowardly!’”

Trump is again challenging Comey after the ousted FBI director’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence committee last week.

While many of Trump’s Republican allies have found Comey’s testimony credible, the president has called the man he fired a liar and a “leaker.”

Comey said during his testimony that he asked a friend to release contents of the memos he’d written about his conversations with the president to a reporter. He contended that information was not classified or otherwise protected.


2:45 a.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has agreed to appear before the Senate Intelligence committee.

The former Alabama senator was an early supporter of Donald Trump, and Sessions’ contacts during the campaign with Russia’s ambassador to the United States have raised questions.

Back in March, Sessions stepped aside from overseeing a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign after he acknowledged meeting twice last year with the Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak.

Sessions had told lawmakers at his confirmation hearing in January that he hadn’t met with Russians during the campaign.

Sessions has been dogged by questions about possible additional encounters with the ambassador.

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