Jueves, 25 May, 2017

Trump Tweets Displeasure Over Special Counsel Appointment

Analysis: Trump finds Russia probe out of his control Didn't Take Long For Trump to Tweet about Special Counsel Appointment
Eleena Tovar | 20 May, 2017, 11:02

Vermont's two U.S. Senators praised the appointment of a special prosecutor to oversee the FBI investigation into potential collusion between associates of President Donald Trump and the Russian government.

Trump earlier Thursday called the probe a "witch hunt".

"With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration, there was never a special councel appointed", Trump said in another tweet.

Trump went on to lament that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, and electoral opponent, Hillary Clinton, were not similarly investigated by a special counsel.

Democrats - and many Republicans - had been eager to hear from Comey after reports emerged this week that Trump may have urged the then-FBI director to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Separately, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said after the briefing that Rosenstein already knew Comey would be fired before he wrote a memo that the Trump administration initially used as justification for ousting the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief.

Sessions, a fierce Trump loyalist, has recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation. His decision to appoint Mueller as a special counsel - notifying the White House only after the order was signed - is a not-so subtle message from Rosenstein that he's serious about defending his integrity and is in nobody's pocket. In a written statement shortly after Mueller's appointment was announced, Trump said a thorough investigation will confirm "there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity".

Comey was in the midst of leading the Russian Federation investigation, and Trump's abrupt dismissal of him is likely what prompted Rosenstein to appoint Mueller to restore a sense of independence to the investigation. Rod Rosenstein, the fiercely independent deputy attorney general, made this move without the blessing of his boss, Jeff Sessions.

But Trump himself has already said that he was going to fire Comey regardless - and the revelation from McCaskill appeared to bolster that version of events. Durbin also said that Rosenstein wouldn't say who asked him to write the memo because Rosenstein didn't want to affect the special counsel investigation. The counsel is not required to consult with or keep informed the Justice Department on the course of the probe.

Meanwhile, Leahy is also requesting more information on Trump's business ties across the world, which could potentially violate the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution.

President Trump was not consulted on the Mueller appointment. Fellow Democrats Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, and Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, echoed the sentiment, with Pelosi calling Mueller "a respected public servant of the highest integrity".

Asked Thursday how close he is to making an announcement, Trump answered "soon". 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.

Mueller's investigation is only to see if criminal wrongdoing occurred.

At this point, the various congressional committee probes should "take a back seat" to avoid interfering with Mueller's work, he said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe".

The Wednesday decision to name former FBI Director Robert Mueller, an apolitical outsider, to oversee the case seemed meant to restore public faith in an independent Justice Department following a series of headache-inducing headlines.