Mueller Investigation Will Prolong, Not Halt, Political Controversy Over Russia

"We'll get rid of the smoke and see where the actual issues lie", said Sen.

"I believe it hurts the country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country", he said later in the day about the Mueller appointment.

He leapt to make the point again at a joint news conference with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, describing the development as a distraction.

"I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt", the USA leader said when asked about the nomination of a high-powered special counsel to investigate suspected Russian meddling.

"I'm fine with whatever people want to do", he added. "And we're going to have a special prosecutor".

President Donald Trump lashed out Thursday at the appointment of a special counsel to investigate allegations his campaign collaborated with Russian Federation as Congress confronted an apparent setback in its own probes: A lawyer for Michael Flynn said the fired national security adviser would not provide documents for an intelligence panel's inquiry.

The White House initially said last week that a letter Rosenstein wrote accusing Comey of missteps as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, including his handling of an election-year probe into Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, was what prompted Trump to fire Comey.

In an atypical move for a sitting president, Trump publicly criticized a law enforcement matter decided by his own Justice Department, to appoint and independent investigator to take over the probe.

The Hill spoke to numerous congress Republicans about President Trump's "witch hunt" tweet. It is the best possible way to attain a resolution that Americans need in the current fevered political climate. In his Tweets, he also complained that there was never a special counsel for what he called the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign and the Obama Administration.

Mr Trump himself had already contradicted that explanation, telling interviewers earlier he had already chose to dismiss Mr Comey.

His appointment raises the stakes dramatically on the long-simmering allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election and had connections with members of the Trump campaign. The appointment puts Mueller at the head of the probe into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"This was a very good first step". But since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation, Mueller will answer to Sessions' deputy, Rod Rosenstein. This effort should in no way be allowed to impede the ability of the Senate Intelligence Committee to conduct and conclude its investigation into the same subject.

"I would be very discouraged if somehow this new special prosecutor would preclude Jim Comey from testifying in public before our committee", he said. "But the takeaway I had is that everything he said is that you need to treat this investigation as if it may be a criminal investigation".

But Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said that the appointment of the special counsel will severely limit the capabilities of the ongoing Congressional investigations.

  • Larry Hoffman