Donald Trump hires lawyers to help defend him over Russia allegations

US President instructs firm to send formal letter insisting he has no business dealings with Moscow

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The Independent US

Donald Trump has hired a legal team to help defend him against allegations over his links with Russia, the White House has announced.

The US leader has asked the unnamed Washington law firm to send a letter to a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee making clear he has no connections to the Kremlin, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.  

The admission came after Senator Lindsey Graham, who ran against Mr Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, said he wanted to investigate whether the US leader had any commercial dealings with Moscow.  

"The President, obviously, was aware of Senator Graham's suggestion after he made it today and he's fine with that”, Mr Spicer told reporters. “He has no business in Russia. He has no connections to Russia. So he welcomes that.

"In fact, he has already charged a leading law firm in Washington DC to send a certified letter to Senator Graham to point out that he has no connections to Russia.”

Mr Graham had admitted that he had no evidence of Mr Trump conducting improper business dealings with Russia but said he wanted to check whether any such deals had taken place. 

“I have no evidence of collusion," he said. "But do I want to know about business ties? Yes.”

The announcement came hours after the White House issued an explosive statement saying Mr Trump had sacked James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Critics rushed to accuse Mr Trump of behaving like a dictator after he fired the man who had been leading the investigation into the President’s alleged links with Russia.

The Republican defended the move in a series of trademark early-morning tweets. 

“The Democrats have said some of the worst things about James Comey, including the fact that he should be fired, but now they play so sad!”, he wrote. 

“James Comey will be replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI.

“Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!”

Mr Trump has previously said he believes it is likely that Russia made attempts to influence the outcome of the US presidential election but has consistently denied that there was any collusion between his team and Moscow.