Rosenstein faces Senate day after upending political world

Vincent Carr
May 19, 2017

While Trump issued stern denials, the focus of the political drama turned to Capitol Hill, where Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met with the full Senate in private to brief them on his decision to appoint Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel and take charge of the department's Russian Federation investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the decision after a week of rising pressure on the Justice Department to ensure the probe remains independent of the White House.

Trump has called the decision to appoint a special prosecutor a "witch hunt".

"As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity", he said in a tersely-worded statement.

In his statement Wednesday night, Trump said he planned to focus on "fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country".

It also marked the end of something of a Twitter hiatus for Trump, who is rarely shy from voicing his personal opinions on the social media platform.

The appointment is certain to soothe nerves at the F.B.I., where agents have felt under siege by Mr. Trump's abrupt firing of Mr. Comey and his repeated criticism of their investigation into Russian interference in the election.

Since then, he had tweeted a news story on industrial production and a pair of videos on his meeting with the Turkish leader and his commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy.

An anonymous source told the Post that Rosenstein was upset at the White House for initially saying his memo was the reason Comey was sacked, and threatened to resign if that narrative was not changed.

Ex-French PM seeks to join Macron revolution
Macron's newly renamed "Republique en Marche" (the Republic on the Move) movement reacted warily to the announcement. Le Pen called for France to leave the European Union and drop the euro currency in favor of the franc.

In the 1990s, President Bill Clinton was engulfed by an independent counsel investigation that started as a probe into failed land deals but ultimately exposed his affair with a White House intern. He will resign from his law firm, WilmerHale. It follows a swiftly moving series of developments that have roiled Washington, including Mr. Trump's abrupt dismissal of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and the disclosure that the president urged Mr. Comey to drop the bureau's investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.

White House spokespeople and Cohen declined Politico's request for comment. Since Sessions has recused himself from the Trump Russia investigation, Rosenstein - who signed the letter appointing Mueller as "acting attorney general" - is the only person with the authority to curtail Mueller's work.

Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last week, prompting some to call for an independent prosecutor to lead the investigation. "You can't let them get you down, you can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams". Don't give in, don't back down.

The deputy attorney general penned a memo criticizing Comey's handling of the probe into Trump's defeated rival Hillary Clinton's emails, which provided the White House with the rationale for firing him - and raised questions about Rosenstein's ability to remain politically independent.

However, President Donald Trump is completely against the appointment of a special counsel.

Trump's presidency has been dogged by constant speculation pertaining to his election campaign's purported links to the Kremlin, which came to a head once again on Tuesday as it was reported he revealed classified information to senior Russian officials.

On Capitol Hill, Comey was clearly the man in demand, with three committees working to seat him at their witness tables soon, two in the Senate and one in the House.

Trump was meeting with FBI director candidates when the White House was formally told that a special prosecutor had been named in Russian Federation investigation. He can not take the place of a truly independent, outside commission that is completely free from the Trump Administration's meddling.

Other reports by BadHub

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