Special counsel isn't ideal, but it's welcome
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 21, 2017,
May 21, 2017, 0:11
On May 17, the Department of Justice announced that former FBI Director Robert Mueller will superintend an independent probe into Russia's influence on the 2016 election, according to Politico. Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited this memo in a letter to Trump recommending he fire Comey. Lawmakers of both parties sought to question him about Trump's firing last week of FBI Director James Comey, which was followed by news that the USA president had shared secrets with the Russians and tried to stop Comey from investigating former presidential adviser Michael Flynn.
In an atypical move Thursday, a sitting president publicly criticized a law enforcement matter decided by his own Justice Department. "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!" he said, without providing evidence for those claims.
It later emerged that Comey had made notes of his meetings with Trump, who reportedly asked him to quash an investigation into Flynn's contacts with foreign governments. The memo allegedly says that the president said, in a private conversation with Comey at the White House, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go".
The appointment won Rosenstein wide praise from Republicans and Democrats.
The reports emerged as Mr Trump departed for his first overseas trip as USA president amid the controversy surrounding investigations into whether his campaign associates collaborated with Russian Federation to sway the election.
Earlier this week, the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to take over the federal investigation in an effort to re-establish independence from the White House. "I expect Mr. Mueller's pursuit of truth to be conducted in a manner that gives the American people confidence in the findings, regardless of the outcome".
"It was a counterintelligence investigation before now".
The President made his displeasure known in a Thursday morning tweet, calling the Russian Federation investigation a "witch hunt".
"I think it shows division", Trump said. By several senators' accounts, he contradicted Trump's statements that Rosenstein's written criticism of FBI Director James Comey had been a factor in Comey's recent firing by the president.
Durbin and other lawmakers said Rosenstein did not indicate who in the Trump administration told him to write the memo with the rationale for ousting Comey.
But he also expressed his reservations about the counsel.
Trump cited displeasure with the FBI's Russian Federation probe as a factor in dismissing Comey.
Given his background having served under Republican President George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama, Mueller is probably the one individual who could generate the kind of bipartisan trust in Washington that this process demands.