Senators: Rosenstein knew of Comey firing before memo

19 Mai, 2017, 15:40 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Senators: Rosenstein knew of Comey firing before memo

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Thursday that he knew President Trump would fire former FBI Director James Comey before he issued a memo recommending his removal, according to several senators briefed by Rosenstein.

Trump's tweets signal his White House - or at least the man in charge - will try to resist Mueller's investigation, meaning the shadow of that probe will now hang over a White House in need of a morale boost. "I hope that we don't inadvertently trip up or damage the independent investigation of the special counsel", he said. He also bemoaned the probe as "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history".

Trump, during a news conference later Thursday with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, again attacked the investigation. "There is no collusion".

The US justice department appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to lead the investigation.

The President later claimed he had fired Mr Comey after deciding the FBI investigation into his campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation was baseless.

His appointment, by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, was a striking shift for the Justice Department, which had resisted increasingly insistent calls from Democrats for an outside prosecutor.

McCaskill said: "He did acknowledge that he learned Comey would be removed prior to him writing his memo".

Addressing that controversy today, Mr Trump suggested Mr Comey had been fired because he was "unpopular". Some members said any hindrance would not occur until much later in the process.

"I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country", Trump said at a luncheon with a group of television news anchors.

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He said Rosenstein's reason was that he didn't want to infringe on special counsel Robert Mueller. I know him. I know how he served our country in the military, as well as a federal judge, how he was re-upped, if you will, as director of the FBI because of the bipartisan confidence we had in his performance.

"If there is no evidence found on any of the claims that are being made and Mr. Trump and his campaign are completely exonerated, it would take somebody with Mr. Mueller's credibility to be able to make that claim", said Murray.

Trump referred to Comey's testimony at a recent Capitol Hill hearing after which the Justice Department ended up having to amend part of his testimony regarding last year's probe of Hillary Clinton's email practices.

"I can confirm that this is false", he tweeted about Trump's statement.

Mueller's broad mandate gives him not only oversight of the Russian Federation probe, but also over "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".

The news conference marked the first substantive public comments by the President in the last two weeks, since he celebrated the May 4 approval in the House of a GOP health care bill.

Trump has repeatedly slammed the FBI and congressional investigations as a "hoax" and blamed disgruntled officials at intelligence agencies for leaking information related to the probes.

"If I were Mr. Mueller I would jealously guard the witness pool", Graham said.

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