Lawmakers criticize Trump's tweets about Russian Federation investigation
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 17, 2017,
Jun 17, 2017, 19:54
News of a possible Rosenstein recusal comes on the same day that President Trump issued a veiled slam against the deputy AG (while acknowledging that he is under investigation for obstruction of justice).
Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence has now hired legal counsel to represent him in the Russian Federation probe and there are media reports that the investigation has expanded to include the business dealings of White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Rosenstein has been overseeing the Russian Federation probe since shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.
"Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials, ' particularly when they do not identify the country - let alone the branch or agency of government - with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated", Rosenstein said in the statement, which was released by the Justice Department.
He added: "Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations". That would leave supervision of the Mueller probe to Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, a a Harvard law graduate who clerked for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and ran the Office of Legal Policy at the Justice Department. The attorney general was at a White House meeting when the notification came from Rosenstein, prompting the enraged President to scold the attorney general for the turn of events.
But there was some evidence that Rosenstein's motivation may instead have been his own mounting frustration at seeing details of the law enforcement investigation appear almost daily in the news media.
Officials familiar with the matter describe friction on the Justice Department's fourth and fifth floors, home to the suite of offices belonging to the deputy attorney general and the attorney general, respectively, in part because of Rosenstein's handling of the Russian Federation matter.
Responding to Trump's statement on Twitter, Sen.
With the revelation this week by The Washington Post that Trump was under investigation for possible attempted obstruction of justice, Rosenstein finds himself caught in an awkward pincer - stuck between the wrath of a president who could fire him and questions about his own future role supervising Mueller when he could become a witness in the special counsel's probe. "Even his staunchest supporters will balk at such a blatant effort to subvert the law".
President Trump can not invoke executive privilege in relation to the Mueller investigation because it is being conducted by the Justice Department, an arm of the executive branch itself.
Trump is trying to discredit the special counsel because he still wants to fire Mueller.
Will Rosenstein recuse himself from overseeing...
Trump and his White House have already used the attack the investigator trick after they fired James Comey.
There were several unconfirmed press reports Friday, citing unnamed sources in the Justice Department, that Rosenstein was preparing to recuse himself. "However, nothing has changed". Yesterday, news broke that Mike Pence hired outside counsel to represent him on related inquiries as well.
"The message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn't apply to him and that anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired", Feinstein said.
If Trump's goal is to limit Mueller's probe or force him out, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said this week, "that would be disastrous for him".