ON what was by far the worst day of his tumultuous presidency, yesterday’s dramatic events in Washington showed that the possibility of Donald Trump facing impeachment proceedings is now real.

Impeachment will be unlikely, given the Republican control of the White House and Capitol Hill, but yesterday a Texan Democrat congressman called for Trump’s impeachment on the floor of the House of Representatives and one Republican broke the party ranks to say that there may be grounds for impeachment, while others openly criticised Trump.

The growing use of the word impeachment followed Tuesday’s news that former FBI director James Comey had written a memo claiming that Trump had suggested “letting go” the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s alleged links with Russia. According to the New York Times, Trump allegedly told Comey, who he later sacked: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

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Outraged Democrats in both Houses of Congress have pointed out that such interference in a federal investigation might be a criminal offence – Republican senator John McCain said that if true, it would be worse than Watergate – and yesterday a Texan Democrat congressman took to the floor of the House of Representatives to call for impeachment proceedings to begin over Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice.

Representative Al Green said: “This is participatory part of democracy. The American people don’t participate on election day only. The American people participate daily.”

He called for the people to make their views known and added: “This is where I stand. I will not be moved. The president must be impeached.”

Green pointed out that impeachment did not mean the President was guilty – that would be for the Republican-controlled Senate to decide and a two-thirds majority would be needed. The only two presidents to be impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were both acquitted by the Senate – Richard Nixon resigned before the process was completed.

Green concluded: “But the House of Representatives has a duty that it can take up and that is of impeachment.”

Republican Representative Justin Amash from Michigan, one of the key states to vote for Trump last November, was the first in his party to say that Trump might be impeached. Asked by reporters that if Comey’s allegations in the memo, which the FBI director compiled minutes after his meeting with Trump, are true, would that be grounds for impeachment? Amash replied: “Yes”. He later added: “Everybody in this country gets a fair trial, [whether] it’s the president or anyone else.”

He then told The Hill publication: “I think it’s pretty clear I have more confidence in Director Comey.”

The White House has flatly denied that Trump made such remarks to Comey who was sacked after asking for more resources to investigate the Trump campaign’s links with Russia. A more senior Republican, Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, took to Trump’s favoured means of communication, to say he would demand sight of the Comey memo.

He tweeted that the committee “is going to get the Comey memo, if it exists. I need to see it sooner rather than later. I have my subpoena pen ready.”

Another Republican, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen told Politico: “I’ve been here 28 years and I have never seen it like this. I was here during the terrible, terrible, terrible days of the Bill Clinton impeachment. And that was bad. That was plenty bad.

“You could say that was an abuse of power, but it was of a different kind. It wasn’t him telling agencies what to do, what not to do.

“This seems like just a raw grab for power by a man who’s been used to doing things and getting things his own way and having very little under-standing of how government works.

“You can’t say those things to an FBI director no matter who it is. But he’s so used to people bending his way. The Clinton impeachment was horrific. I don’t know if we’re going to go through this with Trump. But the ‘I’ word is horrific. I don’t wish that on our nation.”

The bipartisan leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed they have asked the FBI to turn over memos prepared by the former director regarding communications he had with the White House or Justice Department about the FBI’s Russia investigations.

Republican chairman Richard Burr, and Mark Warner, his Democratic co-chair, also sent a request yesterday for Comey to testify before their panel in both an open and closed session.

Democrat Senate minority leader Charles Schumer then said: “Providing the Congress the tapes and the memos may be the only way for this administration to credibly make a case to a justifiably skeptical America public about its version of the story.

“The president says what Comey said was wrong. Prove it.

“If Trump is right, he’ll have no problem releasing memos, tapes, transcripts that collaborate his story. But if he fails to release them, the American people will justifiably tend to side with Mr. Comey, not what the president had to say.”

The Republicans most senior elected official other than the President and Vice-President, Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, urged Republicans to be “sober” in their approach to the allegations against the President. He said: “That is our job, to be sober, to be dispassionate, and to follow the facts wherever they may lead.

“It is obvious there are some people out there who want to harm the president. We have an obligation to carry out our oversight, regardless of which party is in the White House. That means before rushing to judgment we get all the pertinent information.”

He added that the House oversight committee had acted “appropriately” in requesting to see the Comey memo “I’m sure we’re going to want to hear from Mr Comey.”

Asked if he had full confidence in Trump, Ryan said: “I do.” In other events on an almost bewildering day, Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) said he could provide a record of the exchange between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Trump, who has been accused of sharing classified intelligence.

Speaking at a press conference, Putin said: “If the US administration finds it possible, we are ready to provide a recording of the conversation between Lavrov and Trump to the US Congress and Senate.”

He later explained that he could provide a transcript, not a recording.

Trump himself blamed the media again. Speaking to graduates of the US Coast Guard Academy, he complained that no other politician has been treated more unfairly by the media.

He said: “Look at the way I’ve been treated lately by the media. No politician in history … has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

Even as he was speaking it emerged that US Justice investigators are looking into ties between Russian financial institutions and Trump and “anyone in his orbit”.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the investigation is tied to allegations that Vnesheconombank, a state-run Russian bank long under US scrutiny, financed a deal involving Trump’s onetime partner in a Toronto construction deal. The bank, according to WSJ, “has long been viewed by Russian analysts as a vehicle for the Russian government to fund politically important projects”.

In other developments which will probably not worry Trump too much, his immediate predecessor in the Oval Office, Barack Obama revealed his thoughts on Trump.

American media sources quoted Obama as saying: “He is nothing but a bullshitter.”

The Oscar-winning film-maker Michael Moore (above) is also to release a documentary on Trump, similar to that which he made about George W Bush. He has been reported as saying that the documentary, which has been filmed in conditions of secrecy, will “take down” the Trump presidency.