But GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly anxious since Trump fired Comey, who had been leading the bureau’s probe – and after Comey associates said he had notes from a meeting in which Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into Flynn’s Russian Federation ties. But Democratic Senator Dick Durbin told reporters that Rosenstein said explicitly that he knew Comey was going to be fired the day before he wrote the memo.
The appointment of the special counsel indicates other believe that’s still open to question.
A senior US senator said on Friday that he expects Congress’ investigation of Russian Federation and the 2016 USA election to go ahead, even after the appointment of a special counsel, and said Congress has a broader mandate that extends to financial conflicts of interest.
“This shuts the whole thing down”, said one Republican source, speaking on Congressional efforts to investigate Comey’s discussions with Trump.
Because it was a closed briefing, it’s unclear exactly how Rosenstein described how he knew Trump would fire Comey.
Two days later, in a May 11 interview with NBC, Trump contradicted his own spokesmen and said he’d made a decision to fire Comey “regardless of the recommendation” of Rosenstein.
“He was here a month ago and he sure didn’t talk to somebody who thought he would get fired”, he said. Was he naive enough not to see that coming?
There was confusion during the day surrounding Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser who has emerged as a central figure because of his own ties to Russian Federation, which led to his dismissal early on in the Trump administration.
Most importantly, Mueller’s appointment shows that the Department of Justice is willing to conduct an investigation independent of the White House.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the number-two Republican in the Senate and a member of its Intelligence committee, said after the briefing that he told Rosenstein he was anxious about the committees stepping on the FBI’s toes.
Trump is leaving today for his first foreign trip, to the Mideast and beyond, which aides hope can have the effect of refocusing a White House in disarray.
For instance, McCaskill said that Senate and House investigators may not be able to offer immunity to some witnesses because it may interfere with Mueller’s probe.
It was Trump’s first time taking questions since his Justice Department named a special counsel to probe Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.
He offered new justifications for his decision Thursday, even while referring to the Rosenstein memo as “a very, very strong recommendation”.
The memo focused on Comey’s handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server while in office.
Trump tweeted Thursday that the special prosecutor appointment was a “witch hunt” that would divide and hurt the country.
“After my 10th day on my new job in Washington, D.C., a friend sent me a text message that said, ‘You need to get out of there!'” Rosenstein said.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller after a succession of jarring developments that brought questions over Russia’s alleged meddling in the election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign to a boil.
“I thought the July 5 press conference was profoundly wrong and unfair both to the Department of Justice and Secretary Clinton”, said Rosenstein, adding, “It violated deeply ingrained rules and traditions, and it guaranteed that some people would accuse the Federal Bureau of Investigation of interfering in the election”.