Rosenstein may need to recuse himself from Russian Federation probe
- Author: Larry Hoffman Jun 19, 2017,
Jun 19, 2017, 9:38
Donald Trump is reportedly losing his mind over the claims of Russian Federation meddling with the presidential elections. He lashed out at a top Justice Department official overseeing the inquiry, reflecting his mounting frustration with the unrelenting controversy that has consumed his early presidency.
Robert Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in last year's presidential election, has boosted his team of lawyers to 13 and plans to hire several more, his spokesman, Peter Carr, said on Friday. Trump exclaimed on Twitter, referring to the investigation as a "Witch Hunt". Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinDem: Congress will begin impeachment if Trump fires Mueller, Rosenstein Dem senator "increasingly concerned" Trump will try to fire Mueller, Rosenstein Trump fires at deputy attorney general MORE (D-Calif.) issued a similar warning.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has privately indicated that he may need to recuse himself from the probe into Russia's influence on the 2016 USA election, which would make him the second top tier law enforcement official to do so.
Meanwhile, the relationship between Rosenstein and Trump took another turn Thursday night when the Justice Department issued an unusual warning urging the public to "exercise caution" when it comes to anonymously sourced reports.
In a tweet, the president also appeared to accuse the USA deputy attorney general of pursuing a "witch hunt".
Rosenstein invites us to be skeptical about leaks suggesting that Trump is under investigation for obstruction of justice. "Witch Hunt", the president wrote. That's undemocratic on its face and a blatant violation of the president's oath of office. Trump cited the memo in firing Comey.
Finally, we know that Mueller's investigators are also looking for "any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates", as the Post phrased it.
"I understand there are serious allegations that have been raised", he said.
Sekulow stressed repeatedly that Trump is not under investigation. But a department official said no one asked for the statement and Rosenstein acted on his own.
The transition official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss post-election decisions publicly.
The point is that Mueller's investigation is broadening, not narrowing.
The White House has said the president "has never asked Mr Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn".
On the following day in an Oval Office meeting with Russian officials, the President described his FBI chief as a "nut job" and "crazy" and expressed relief that the "pressure " of the Russia investigation had been lifted by the firing of Comey.
Rod Rosenstein probably never expected to be in the spotlight so often while serving in President Donald Trump's administration.
The Trump tweets come after the top lawyer for his transition team warned organization officials to preserve all records and other materials related to the Russian Federation probe.
Trump himself appeared to signal he might favor such an option, posting a Tweet Friday morning before the report taking aim at Rosenstein. They are: Flynn; Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager; Rick Gates, Manafort's business partner; Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser; and Roger J Stone Jr, an informal adviser to Mr Trump.
The White House has directed questions for details to outside legal counsel, which has not responded.