McCaskill: Rosenstein said he knew Comey would be fired before memo

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 19, 2017

On Wednesday, an investigation into his campaign's ties with Moscow was significantly strengthened by the appointment of straight-shooting former FBI director Robert Mueller to lead it. According to CNN, former FBI director Robert Mueller was asked to oversee the investigation in a signed order from deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.

These types of investigations have always generated controversy, starting with the very first special prosecutor appointed by Ulysses Grant in 1875 to probe a so-called Whisky Ring tax scandal.

The surprise announcement to hand the probe over to Mueller, a lawman who garners deep bipartisan respect, was a striking shift for Trump's Justice Department, which had resisted increasingly loud calls from Democrats for an outside prosecutor.

The White House initially said that President Trump had fired Comey based on the recommendations that Rosenstein presented in a Justice Department memo, which criticized the ousted director's performance - particularly his probe of Clinton's use of a private email server.

Mr Trump posited that the naming of a special counsel "also happens to be a pure excuse for the Democrats having lost an election that they should have easily won".

This after a tweet in which he complained, "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!" Trump later deleted and retweeted that statement to correct the spelling of "counsel". "And numerous questions he declined to answer came down to his concern of whether he might interfere with the investigation by Robert Mueller".

He also indicated that the Russian Federation investigation had factored into his decision.

At a joint White House news conference with the President of Colombia, the President also had especially tough words for former Director James Comey, whom he fired just over a week ago, saying Comey was not the right person to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 2011, he was asked by Democratic President Barack Obama for two more years.

Because it was a closed briefing, it's unclear exactly how Rosenstein described how he knew Trump would fire Comey.

The general feeling among Colorado lawmakers, however, was that Mueller's appointment was welcome and necessary. Mueller is authorized to investigate any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump with or without consulting the Justice Department [official website]. President Trump also denied reports claiming that he told Comey three months ago to drop the investigation into ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's ties to Russian Federation.

Democratic senator Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's 2016 running mate, referred to Mueller's appointment as a "good move", USA Today reported, and Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz said he was a "great selection".

If the history of special investigations involving the White House makes anything clear, they tend to last a long time and result in someone getting indicted.

The latest political storm, coupled with the still-potent fallout from Trump's recent disclosure of classified information to Russian diplomats at the White House, has overshadowed all else in the capital and beyond.

Trump claimed that the report on Comey's memo was not true.

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