The White House initially cited Rosenstein’s recommendation to explain Comey’s ouster during an ongoing investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s associates and Russian Federation.
“Robert Mueller is a widely respected law enforcement professional, and I trust that under his leadership the investigation will be conducted in an independent and expeditious manner”, Corker said.
The Tennessee senator did not elaborate further on Rosenstein’s briefing of senators.
Two of the countries Trump is set to visit on his first trip overseas are ones where he holds assets – Saudi Arabia and Israel. “And numerous questions he declined to answer came down to his concern of whether he might interfere with the investigation by Robert Mueller”.
There could be a side benefit for Rod Rosenstein in appointing a special counsel to head an investigation into possible Russian coordination with the Trump campaign: reviving his own reputation, heavily battered for his role in the firing of James Comey, who had been leading the probe.
The appointment won Rosenstein wide praise from Republicans and Democrats.
“There was no collusion – everybody, even my enemies have said there was no collusion”, Mr. Trump added.
The Senate intelligence committee also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to turn over any notes Comey might have made regarding discussions he had with White House or Justice Department officials about Russia’s efforts to influence the election.
“He appointed Mueller because he was cognizant enough to understand whether or not he thought he could be fair in the investigation was irrelevant”, said Steven Silverman, a Baltimore attorney who has known Rosenstein for years.
“Congress has been pretty much sidelined”.
His argument: Congressional interviews and hearings could inadvertently harm or complicate the criminal investigation.
In a statement following the announcement, Mueller said, “I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability”. He needs to maintain composure, let the system work and build a record that Republicans in Congress can run on. That’s something that, perhaps inadvertently, Graham nodded to. “We can go back to dealing with legislative matters that affect the American people”. “We look forward to getting this whole situation behind us”. “That is a train wreck waiting to happen”.
U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders – along with U.S. Rep. Peter Welch – have been calling for an independent Department of Justice investigation for days, their voices part of a chorus composed mostly of Democratic lawmakers. Evidence won’t be released to the public and there won’t be press updates. “Mr. Rosenstein has done the right thing”, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said on the Senate floor. “Nothing really has changed”. 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 the Russian Federation ties of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
“At some point, we get to a place where we’ve got to move on and start focusing on the things that the American people care about, and I don’t think this is it”, she said.
Yesterday, shortly before Mr Trump’s press conference at the White House, Mr Rosenstein briefed the entire United States senate on Capitol Hill, a previously-scheduled engagement. “And the need for former Director Comey to come testify in public soon is as great as ever”.