Domingo, 24 Marcha, 2019

Senators: Rosenstein knew of Comey firing before memo

US names special counsel for Russia probe DOJ taps former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel for Russia investigation
Eleena Tovar | 20 May, 2017, 06:09

Rosenstein, according to his a copy of his prepared remarks at a briefing before the US House of Representatives, said that he learned on May 8 that Trump meant to fire Comey and that Trump sought Rosenstein's "advice and input" that same day.

"I hope you can let this go", Comey wrote, quoting Trump in the document, which CNN has not viewed but which was described by the sources.

Trump emphatically said "no" when asked during a joint news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the White House's East Room. "I believe it. I stand by it".

But despite such frustrations, members agreed that Rosenstein had received a warm reception from both Republicans and Democrats at the meeting, a development that they said showed not only praise for his selection of Mueller to oversee the probe but also a recognition that Republican resistance to an independent probe was futile. "He was explicitly non-responsive", Sherman said.

House members and senators said Rosenstein in his briefings steered clear of specifics in answering questions about his appointment of Mueller but made clear the former FBI director, will have wide latitude to pursue the investigation, potentially including criminal charges.

"It explicitly usurped the role of the attorney general, the deputy attorney general and the entire Department of Justice", Rosenstein said of that public announcement. "I am not aware of any such request".

Comey's dismissal last week set off a series of jarring developments that culminated on Wednesday in the Justice Department's appointment of a special counsel to probe possible ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Wyden also said he was looking into ways to obtain documents related to dealings with Russian Federation by Flynn.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Judiciary Committee Democrat, said there was "no better person who could be asked to perform this function".

"I think he indicated what Donald Trump has indicated, " Cassidy said.

Following Rosenstein's testimony, a number of Senators came out to take about what happened in the closed-door meeting. Rosenstein told lawmakers he didn't want to infringe on newly appointed special counsel Robert Mueller, whom Rosenstein named this week to lead the probe of possible Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation.

The White House counsel was notified after the special counsel order was signed and soon before it was publicly announced. News reports that Comey wrote memos about his conversations with Trump since January have fueled that aspect of the probe.

Trump also said he was close to selecting a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director to replace Comey, and that former senator and one-time Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman was among the top candidates. "We can not afford to lose this one".

"As it became clear how little he was willing to talk about it, it also became clear how broad this investigation that Mueller is about to undertake actually is", Murphy said. At this point, however, Scalise affirms that the House intelligence committee will continue doing what it's been doing.

In the job, Mueller will have all the same powers as a US attorney, though he will still ultimately report to Rosenstein.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller under a statute used in 1999, when John C. Danforth was appointed to investigate allegations of government wrongdoing in the siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

Hurd added that Mueller is someone who is respected by both sides of the aisle in Congress and, "He has the right law enforcement and legal background to understand the gravity of this situation and to do it in a thorough way".