Former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate Trump's ties to Russian Federation

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19 May, 2017

He also told them that he was not pressured into writing his memo.

Rosenstein, who was appointed US attorney by President George W. Bush and held the job for the entire Obama administration, didn't immediately embrace the idea of a special counsel while facing persistent questions from Democratic senators at his confirmation hearing.

On a day of fast-moving developments, the house of representatives intelligence committee announced that it, too, had asked for documents, in this case from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the justice department.

President Donald Trump, striking a defiant tone on Thursday after days of political tumult, denied colluding with Russian Federation during his 2016 campaign or asking former FBI Director James Comey to drop a probe into his former national security adviser.

However, Democrats have said the dismissal was because Comey was leading the probe into Russia's alleged election meddling, and have called for an independent investigation.

Kenneth Starr was appointed in 1994 to investigate the Whitewater land deal, and his probe morphed into the Monica Lewinsky affair and Bill Clinton's impeachment by the House four years later over perjury and obstruction of justice.

Mueller is the man Rosenstein tapped Wednesday to head the U.S. Justice Department's investigation into whether anyone on Trump's campaign colluded with Russian operatives who sought to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

Rosenstein did not notify White House counsel Donald McGahn of his special counsel decision until 5:30 p.m., the same time Justice Department officials were briefing reporters and 30 minutes before the news became public. Trump tweeted angrily, "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!" "This is the single greatest witch-hunt of a politician in American history!"

He says that's why he believes Congress needs to keep conducting its investigations which are meant for the public. Warner of Virginia said Comey's testimony should come "sooner rather than later".

Yesterday, shortly before Mr Trump's press conference at the White House, Mr Rosenstein briefed the entire U.S. senate on Capitol Hill, a previously-scheduled engagement.

"I didn't hear anything classified" during the briefing, Graham said.

Rosenstein wrote the memo on May 9.

Shortly thereafter Burr reversed himself in a statement saying Flynn's attorneys "have not yet indicated their intentions regarding the Senate Intelligence Committee's subpoena", and he would welcome "their willingness to cooperate". "I also got a very, very strong recommendation, as you know, from the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein". "The Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation, which is well underway, is focusing on the counter-intelligence aspects, which are crucial to this case".

Trump's latest comments stood in contrast to his measured statement on Wednesday night after the announcement of Mueller's appointment, when he said "a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity".

But Rosenstein contradicted the White House's original explanation, according to some Democratic senators.

"To me, it was significant that he stated that he knew that the decision to fire Comey had been made the day before he drafted the memo", added Sen. Trump also criticized the decision to name a special counsel in the Russian Federation probe. And during a lunch with reporters, he said the special counsel appointment is bad for the country.

Yet the appointment increasingly seemed the only viable option, particularly following this week's revelation that Comey took notes on a February meeting with Trump in which he said the president had asked him to shut down an investigation into Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser.


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