No reason to fire special counsel: US Justice Dept
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 17, 2017,
Jun 17, 2017, 2:12
In a pivotal shift in the investigation that has riveted Americans like no other in decades, senior intelligence officials have agreed to be interviewed by investigators working for the special counsel, Robert Mueller, the Post said.
A major test on that front will be whether the FBI is willing to release memos from former FBI Director James Comey of his conversations with President Donald Trump, now that they have been provided to Mueller. Doubt, however, has been cast on that explanation because of cryptic testimony from former FBI Director James Comey last week.
Three members of the legal team known to have been hired so far by Mueller have given political donations nearly exclusively to Democrats, according to a CNN analysis of Federal Election Commission records.
Dianne Feinstein, top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she was "increasingly concerned" that Trump will fire both Mueller and Rosenstein. Comey was sacked May 9.
"It is my view that fully investigating the facts, circumstances, and rationale for Mr Comey's removal will provide us the opportunity to do that on a cooperative, bipartisan basis", the letter said.
Spicer told reporters Monday that it "depends on the scope of the questions" and said it was "premature" to say.
Trump has repeatedly denied colluding with Russian Federation during the presidential campaign, and Comey and others have testified that there is no evidence to the contrary. When asked about a letter he wrote recommending firing Comey, Rosenstein said that Mueller could be looking into the decision-making process for the firing - and he was therefore "not at liberty to talk about that now".
The White House has been directing all questions related to this to Trump's personal attorney Marc Kasowitz. Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders referred Roll Call to an outside counsel. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., asked Sessions whether Trump records his conversations in the White House.
"The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal", Mark Corallo told the Post.
Mr. Trump has denied making that request.
"Chris was speaking for himself and did not speak to the president", a White House official told Roll Call in an email late Monday.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, as special counsel one day after The New York Times published an article detailing Comey's memo.
For starters, the deputy attorney general now overseeing the Russian Federation investigation, who did the hiring and would have to do the firing, assured a congressional committee he would resist an unwarranted dismissal order: "I'm not going to follow any order unless I believe they are lawful and appropriate orders". If he declined, Trump would have to fire him and find another DOJ official willing to do so - a scenario that would be reminiscent of the Watergate era and its infamous "Saturday Night Massacre".
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he will "defend the integrity" of the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the USA elections. Richardson refused, and instead resigned. Sessions testified Tuesday that he felt he had no proper choice because he had a potential political conflict of interest, having been a campaign adviser to President Trump.