Donald Trump asked Mr Comey to close the probe into his former national security advisor Michael Flynn’s links with Russia shortly before he sacked the FBI director, according to a memo by Mr Comey.
The US president is quoted as saying: “I hope you can let this go”.
Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, has now been appointed as special counsel to oversee the inquiry into links between Mr Trump’s election campaign and Russia.
As Democrats continue to call for the US President’s removal, Express.co.uk brings you the latest news, live updates and betting odds on Mr Trump being impeached.
Thursday May 18
8.45am BST: Former FBI director Robert Mueller will oversee the investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russia, the US Justice Department has announced.
Mr Mueller said: “I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability.”
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who picked Mr Mueller, explained his decision to appoint a special counsel by saying: “I determined that it is on the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter.
“My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted.”
Mr Trump reacted to the news with a statement which read: “As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity.
“I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”
Mr Mueller was appointed FBI director by George W Bush in 2001 and served for much of Barack Obama’s tenure, making him a savvy choice that has won bipartisan support.
Democrat House minority leader Nancy Pelosi commended the decision to put Mr Mueller in charge of the investigation, and called him “a respected public servant of the highest integrity”.
Ms Pelosi added: “The Trump Administration must make clear that Director Mueller will have the resources and independence he needs to execute this critical investigation.”
Another Democrat, Representative Al Green, yesterday called for Mr Trump’s impeachment on the House floor.
“It’s a position of conscience for me,” he said. “This is about what I believe. And this is where I stand. I will not be moved. The president must be impeached.”
Mr Trump’s confirmation that he shared confidential intelligence with Russian officials has further incensed opponents campaigning for his removal.
After the White House denied reports that the President told Russian diplomats sensitive information about a terror threat, Mr Trump tweeted: “As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety.