Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Lawmakers criticize Trump's tweets about Russian Federation investigation

Fired FBI chief James Comey appears before the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday Fired FBI chief James Comey appears before the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday
Kenny Thornton | 17 June, 2017, 14:59

Rosenstein is the government lawyer responsible for overseeing the investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions having recused himself from the probe.

Trump's 9:07 a.m. tweet appeared to be principally directed at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the number-two official at the Justice Department who authored a memo justifying Comey's firing.

Trump said on Friday in a Twitter post that he was being investigated "for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!"

President Trump is tweeting his displeasure with the direction of the Russian Federation probe, which reportedly is now veering into an obstruction of justice investigation.

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".

Reports that Trump allegedly asked two intelligence chiefs to publicly deny any cooperation between his campaign and Russian Federation are also said to be part of the investigation.

The possibility of a second top Justice Department official recusing himself from the investigation comes after Trump appeared to criticize Rosenstein (and admit he was under investigation) on Friday.

Early, shocking exit for McIlroy, Day at Erin Hills
As expected, the course played easy on the first day - except for some of golf's biggest stars, who struggled even as a U.S. World number two Rory McIlroy misses the cut at the US Open despite a strong finish to his second round at Erin Hills .

The tweet from Trump, who has complained throughout the week of a "witch hunt" against him, appears to directly target Rosenstein for the first time, who this week said he wouldn't fire Mueller without good cause.

Tensions are building inside the Justice Department as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein contemplates whether he will become a witness in the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 United States elections.

The transition order came the same day that Vice President Mike Pence's confirmed that he had hired a private lawyer to represent his interests in the expanding probe. For one, Trump has publicly confirmed that he had already made up his mind to fire Comey and was going to do it regardless of what Rosenstein said, as he told NBC's Lester Holt last month.

The Republican president has repeatedly complained about the probe, calling it a witch hunt and saying Democrats can not accept his election victory.

He continued: "Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations". In the memo, Rosenstein issued a blistering assessment of Comey's performance as FBI director, pointing to his unusual handling of last year's Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Mr Comey told a Senate panel last week he believed Mr Trump fired him to undermine the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Russian Federation probe. "The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations".

Flynn, who was forced out in February, is a subject in investigations by intelligence committees in the House and Senate, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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