Mueller heading investigation on Trump, Russia

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 19, 2017

Some senators say they're anxious the Justice Department's appointment of a special counsel to oversee the Russian Federation investigation could effectively halt congressional probes into the matter.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein knew President Donald Trump was going to fire FBI Director James Comey before he wrote a memo that criticized him, a Democratic lawmaker said Thursday. "I am confident he will serve with integrity and professionalism, and will conduct a thorough and fair investigation".

In two Twitter postings, the Republican president assailed the latest development to roil his four-month-old administration.

"With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!" Trump wrote, misspelling the word counsel as he referred to former President Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

The Wednesday decision to name former FBI Director Robert Mueller, an apolitical outsider, to oversee the case seemed meant to restore public faith in an independent Justice Department following a series of headache-inducing headlines. The American people deserve to know the full extent of the connections between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, and any efforts by the President to obstruct investigations into such ties.

Pressed on whether he asked Comey to quash an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn's foreign contacts, Trump grew testy.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney had a different take on Trump's twitter account in December. A selloff in US stocks looked set to extend into its second day on Thursday.

Democrats and Trump's fellow Republicans widely praised Mueller's appointment.

That revelation came after almost the entire complement of the U.S. Senate attended a briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a secure auditorium beneath the Capitol.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill welcomed the Justice Department action, but House and Senate Republican leaders said they would go on with their own investigations of the Russian Federation matter. "Russia's fine", Trump said.

"The takeaway I had", said Sen. "I certainly hope there wasn't any but if there is there are going to be very serious consequences", Dent told CNN.

"The Intelligence Committee in the Senate has to continue its work, and it should continue full throttle ahead", Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the briefing. "I am not on a witch hunt. I am on a fact-finding mission", he said on CNN. Another Democratic senator, Dick Durbin, said he had confidence that Mueller, who is widely respected among US lawmakers, will follow the facts where they lead. "This won't be a witch hunt", he said on CNN. White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, initially said that Trump only fired Comey on Rosenstein's recommendation - a contention supported by Trump's signed termination letter to Comey, which cited Rosenstein's memo as the rationale to dismiss the director.

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