Rosenstein: Special Counsel Will Ensure Thorough Russia Investigation
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Thursday that the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel for the Justice Department’s Russian Federation investigation was “perfectly appropriate”.
Minutes later, he added, “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”
Trump issued a statement shortly after the announcement that said he thought the investigation would prove him right: that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russian government.
“I got a very strong recommendation, as you know, from the deputy attorney general”, Mr Trump said, responding to questions about Mr Comey’s firing. “Current administration officials who have acknowledged contacts with Russian officials include Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as Cabinet members Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson”, the Post writes.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Comey should still appear before congressional committees that have invited him to testify.
“I can’t comment on the Justice Department’s efforts”. Trump himself had already contradicted that explanation, telling interviewers earlier that he had already made a decision to dismiss Comey.
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller will be the special prosecutor overseeing the investigation.
Mr Rosenstein’s memo was initially cited by the White House as the primary reason Mr Comey was sacked.
Republican Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Flynn’s lawyer told the committee he would not honour the panel’s subpoena seeking relevant documents.
The FBI’s investigation seeks to determine whether and to what extent Trump associates were in contact with Kremlin operatives, what business dealings they might have had in Russian Federation, and whether they in any way facilitated the hacking and publishing of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, during the presidential campaign.
Russian Federation has denied the allegations. The move has received praise from both Republicans and Democrats.
Although Putin used the Russian word for audio recording at the press conference, his foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov said that “audio is not made” at such meetings.
Rosenstein was due to brief US senators later on Thursday.
British P.M. Theresa May meanwhile said Trump is free to decide what to discuss with White House visitors, while stressing that London’s relationship with Washington was “the most important defense and security relationship” around the world.
The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to those people, who would not further identify the official.