16:28 GMT25 February 2020
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    Democrats representing both the US House Oversight Committee and House Judiciary Committee have urged for the launch of an immediate investigation into US President Donald Trump and a number of his officials concerning their potential role in hindering the ongoing investigation into their alleged ties with Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, The New York Times newspaper reported that Trump, during a meeting with Comey at the White House in February, told the then FBI director to stop the Bureau's investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his ties with Russia. The White House has denied the allegations, stressing that Trump has never asked Comey or any other official to halt the investigation. The Democrats from both congressional committees asked the FBI in their letter to hand over Comey's memo by May 24.

    "We are writing to request that the Oversight Committee and the Judiciary Committee launch an immediate joint investigation into whether President Donald Trump and his top officials are engaged in an ongoing conspiracy to obstruct the criminal, counter-intelligence, and oversight investigations currently being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, and Congress into members of his presidential campaign and their contacts with Russian officials," the letter, published on the Oversight Committee website on Tuesday, said.

    The letter was issued a week after James Comey was fired from his position as Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director and amid US media reports saying that Trump allegedly gave him orders to stop particular investigations, stressed that it was "unacceptable to continue ignoring these scandals."

    "Given the gravity of the events that have occurred over the past several weeks, there is simply no reasonable question that the Oversight Committee and Judiciary Committee should already be conducting a robust investigation of these issues that includes public hearings, document requests, and interviews and depositions," the letter said.

    On May 10, Trump terminated Comey based on recommendations from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who criticized the former FBI director's handling of the Hillary Clinton private server and email scandal during the 2016 election. The firing took place amid the ongoing investigations on Trump's team's alleged ties with Russia and the Kremlin’s alleged interference in the 2016 US elections.

    Russia has repeatedly denied US claims that it meddled in the US election process, calling them absurd. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow did not have official contacts with Trump's team during the presidential campaign.

    Democratic Party (United States), House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Donald Trump, Russia
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