The irony of the criminal investigation into Donald Trump
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 19, 2017,
Jun 19, 2017, 6:39
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a statement Thursday night warning Americans not to "accept as true" stories based on "anonymous officials".
The deputy attorney general later appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to lead the inquiry, following growing demands from Democrats to appoint an independent special prosecutor to examine the Russian Federation allegations.
Trump and his White House have already used the attack the investigator trick after they fired James Comey. The White House press office immediately pointed to Rosenstein's detailed memo as the justification for Comey's surprise termination.
Remember, Trump admitted publicly that he fired Comey, who was leading a counter-espionage investigation into the Russian Federation scandal, because of the president's dissatisfaction with the probe. The New York Times, meanwhile, added that the special counsel "has requested interviews with three high-ranking current or former intelligence officials, the latest indication that he will investigate whether President Trump obstructed justice".
While most Republicans in Congress said little about Mr. Trump's criticism of Mueller, other supporters echoed the President's concerns. Grassley said Comey's dismissal and Comey's testimony on Lynch should be looked at together, noting that Comey "took the opportunity in his testimony to clear his own name by denouncing as false the administration's claims that the FBI rank-and-file had lost confidence in Mr. Comey's leadership in the wake of the Clinton email investigation".
The memo from the transition's general counsel directs all staffers and volunteers who worked on the Trump transition to "preserve any written documents.as well as any electronic information" related to Russia, Ukraine and any foreign travel by Trump transition members.
In another development, members of Trump's transition team that served him after he was elected in November until he took office in January have been ordered to preserve materials related to the Russian Federation matter, the New York Times reported. An official of Trump's transition confirmed the lawyer's internal order, which was sent Thursday. Comey testified that Trump directed him in February to drop an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn relating to the Russian Federation matter.
Law enforcement sources tell CNN that the special counsel is gathering information and considering whether there is evidence to launch a full-scale obstruction investigation. Comey also testified he had told Trump he was not under investigation.
The department would not comment on the record on whether Trump, who has repeatedly complained about leaks on the case, requested the statement.
Moscow has denied any interference.
The White House has said the subsequent meeting with the banker was a pre-inauguration diplomatic encounter, unrelated to business matters.
"I would give him the chance to see if he could do that because if there's nothing there, so you're not gonna find anything anyway", Carson said on Fox News Radio.