Trump denies asking Comey to drop probe; decries 'witch hunt'

19 Mai, 2017, 22:26 | Author: Claudine Rigal

Some senators say they're anxious the Justice Department's appointment of a special counsel to oversee the Russian Federation investigation could effectively halt congressional probes into the matter.

"The entire thing has been a witch hunt", the President said.

Trump tweeted early Thursday that he was the victim of a "witch hunt" and expressed anger that a special counsel hadn't ever been appointed to investigate Hillary Clinton or former president Barack Obama for their "illegal acts".

Rosenstein was on Capitol Hill this afternoon and faced tough questions from senators about the events that led up to FBI Director James Comey's termination and his decision to appoint a special counsel.

Cornyn said Rosenstein asked for "a single point of contact so that we can coordinate and facilitate this".

Trump cited displeasure with the FBI's Russian Federation probe as a factor in dismissing Comey.

Swecker served as Assistant Director of the FBI Criminal Investigations Division under Mueller.

Rosenstein will give House members a similar briefing Friday morning.

Yesterday, shortly before Mr Trump's press conference at the White House, Mr Rosenstein briefed the entire U.S. senate on Capitol Hill, a previously-scheduled engagement.

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The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said he was supportive of investigations in Congress but expressed concern about the "proliferation" of hearings.

Rosenstein may have blunted some of the criticism of his actions in the past week with his announcement Wednesday that he had appointed a special counsel. The move has received praise from both Republicans and Democrats.

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".

But anyone hoping the appointment of a special counsel means the public will ultimately hear a full accounting of the investigation might be disappointed.

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

The president's tweets and comments to the TV anchors drew little reaction from fellow Republicans, who instead joined Democrats in heaping praise on Mueller, a longtime respected lawman who served under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, preceding Comey as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

An anonymous source told the Post that Rosenstein was upset at the White House for initially saying his memo was the reason Comey was sacked, and threatened to resign if that narrative was not changed.

"One of the big losers in this decision is the public", Graham said as he explained that Mueller might try to prevent Comey from testifying before Congress.

Initially it was Rosenstein's memo - critical of Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal previous year - that was put forward as the justification for the dismissal. The President's anger contrasted with a more measured written statement released by the White House on Wednesday evening, when Mr Trump declared that a thorough investigation would find "no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity". Committee leaders have already been having talks with senior Justice Department officials to "deconflict" their efforts - but lawmakers worry that if Mueller widens the scope of his investigation, they may have few witnesses at their disposal.

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