President Donald Trump repeatedly urged senior Senate Republicans over the summer to end the Senate Intelligence Committee’s probe into Russian meddling within the 2016 election, including the panel’s chairman, the fresh York Times reported on Thursday, citing several lawmakers along with also also aides.
Senator Richard Burr, the committee’s chairman, said in an interview This kind of week Trump told him which he was eager to see the investigation come to an end, the Times reported.
“the item was something along the lines of, ‘I desire you can conclude This kind of as quickly as possible,'” Burr told the Times. He said he replied to Trump which “when we have exhausted everybody we need to talk to, we will finish,” the newspaper reported.
The panel can be among several congressional committees, along with the Justice Department’s special counsel Robert Mueller, investigating allegations which Russia sought to influence the U.S. election along with also also potential collusion by Trump’s campaign.
Moscow has denied any meddling along with also also Trump has said there was no collusion.
White House spokesman Raj Shah said on Thursday which the president had not acted improperly, the Times reported.
Trump “at no point has attempted to apply undue influence on committee members” along with also also believes “there can be no evidence of collusion along with also also these investigations must come to a fair along with also also appropriate completion,” the newspaper quoted Shah as saying.
White House officials did not immediately respond to a request by Reuters for comment.
Trump’s requests were a highly unusual intervention by a president into a legislative inquiry involving his family along with also also close aides, the Times said.
Trump also told Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, along with also also Republican Senator Roy Blunt, a member of the intelligence committee, to end the investigation swiftly, the Times reported, citing lawmakers along with also also aides.
Spokesmen for McConnell, Burr along with also also Blunt did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Times quoted Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, a former chairwoman of the intelligence committee, as saying in an interview This kind of week which Trump’s requests were “inappropriate” along with also also represented a breach of the separation of powers.
“the item can be pressure which should never be brought to bear by an official when the legislative branch can be within the process of an investigation,” Feinstein was quoted as saying.