Monday, 18 February, 2019

Trump acknowledges for first time he's under investigation

Ellis Copeland | 18 June, 2017, 03:00

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has privately acknowledged he may need to recuse himself from matters relating to the Russian Federation probe, given that he could become a potential witness in the investigation, ABC News reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources.

It's clear that both Rosenstein and the Trump White House are feeling the heat of the investigation with the deputy attorney general releasing a statement late Thursday telling the public to be skeptical when they read news reports citing anonymous officials. But then Rosenstein made the surprise move to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the Russian Federation investigation, a development that people close to Sessions and Trump believe has worsened matters for everyone involved. "He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry".

The Post reported that FBI agents and federal prosecutors are also looking into the financial dealings of Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former campaign policy adviser Carter Page.

"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!"

This tweet, of course, is based on Trump's narrative about the "memo" supposedly written by Rosenstein recommending the FBI director's firing because Comey had been unfair to Clinton by announcing the investigation into her email account just a week before the election.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller to serve as special counsel on May 17, a little over a week after Trump fired Comey. "Witch Hunt", the President tweeted.

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 U.S. elections.

Rod Rosenstein recommended to President Trump that he fire former FBI Chief James Comey, though also chose to bring in Robert Mueller, now the probe's special counsel. Trump himself took aim Friday at the senior Justice Department official responsible for appointing Mueller, accusing him on Twitter of leading a "Witch Hunt".

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" Erdogan is waving his finger at everyone who is against him", said Nuran, a retired teacher who declined to give her surname. The Turkish foreign ministry officially "invited" the United States ambassador in for discussions after the announcement.

"And so he was reluctant to make the statement that I made, " Comey said.

Rosenstein was among those who advised Sessions to recuse himself, according to officials briefed on the matter.

"His view was still that it. could be misleading, because the nature of the investigation was such that it might well touch - obviously, it would touch the campaign, and the person at the head of the campaign would be the candidate. But the deputy attorney general, who would have to sign off on Mr. Mueller's firing, has become a favorite target for Mr. Trump in conversations with advisers and friends".

Comey took notes after each of his nine meetings or phone calls with Trump, including one alone with the president in the Oval Office on February 14, the day after Flynn was forced to resign.

"I think he's weighing that option", he said of Trump.

Comey told lawmakers he gave notes he had taken after that meeting and his other eight meetings or phone calls he had with Trump to Mueller.

Mueller's investigators have asked for information and will talk to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, according to a source, who said they have also sought information from recently retired NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett.

Trump tweeted on Thursday: "They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story". Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the president's requests, officials said.


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