Sábado, 26 May, 2018

Trump lashes out - abused by 'greatest witch-hunt'

Mueller with James Comey in 2013.     Susan Walsh  AP Mueller with James Comey in 2013. Susan Walsh AP
Tobias Pedroso | 19 May, 2017, 19:42

Mr Robert Mueller, a highly respected former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) chief, was appointed by Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday - reportedly with only a half-hour's notice given to the White House.

Senators said that Rosenstein made clear that he has ceded all authority over the investigation over to Mueller. But Sens. Tom Carper and Dick Durbin, both Democrats, and Sen.

"He knew that Comey was going to be removed prior to writing his memo", Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill told reporters after the briefing.

He said Rosenstein didn't tell lawmakers who told him to write the memo with the rationale for ousting Comey.

But Rosenstein did not disclose further details about the memo he wrote, according to House members on Friday. Initially, the White House claimed that Trump was simply following the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein.

When asked about whether he pushed Comey, the man he fired earlier in the month, to end the Russian Federation investigation, Trump was firm and quick to reply: "No, no".

Congressional leaders have emphasized that House and Senate investigations will continue irregardless of other investigations. Sen. "Mr. Rosenstein has done the right thing", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said on the Senate floor.

"That was very reassuring", he said, adding that the scope of the probe will be "so broad" that Rosenstein refrained from commenting on too much. Yet with his appointment of Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor Wednesday evening, and Thursday's subsequent closed-door meeting with top senators, it seems the official story may be kaput. "We want to be careful we don't interfere with any criminal investigations", McCaskill said.

Trump said at a news conference Thursday that he had thought firing Comey would be a popular action, and that his decision was at least party based on Comey's "poor performance" in testifying before Congress a few weeks earlier. The appointment puts Mueller at the head of the probe into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The appointment of the Special Counsel comes just as a memo from the fired FBI director surfaced indicating that the president had asked him to end an investigation of former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn.

The Senate Intelligence committee has taken the lead on the congressional Russian Federation investigation, while other committees, such as Graham's subcommittee and the Senate Judiciary, House Intelligence, and House Oversight committees, have also requested documents and held hearings on the issue.