USA

Trump decries special prosecutor probing Russian Federation links

Trump decries special prosecutor probing Russian Federation links

Mueller is the man Rosenstein tapped Wednesday to head the U.S. Justice Department's investigation into whether anyone on Trump's campaign colluded with Russian operatives who sought to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

President Donald Trump says a special prosecutor for an investigation into Russia's involvement in the election hurts our country. It follows weeks of questions about the Justice Department's independence from the White House and comes two months after Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself because of his own undisclosed Russian contacts during the campaign.

Asked point-blank if he'd done anything that might merit prosecution or even impeachment, he said no and then added concerning the allegations and questions that have mounted as he nears the four-month mark of his presidency: "I think it's totally ridiculous".

Aram. the president's latest comments are in stark contrast to his earlier statement in which he said the probe will prove he's innocent.

"Look at the way I've been treated lately, especially by the media".

After firing Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, Trump suggested on Twitter that there might be "tapes" of his conversations in the White House that he would use to validate his account of his dealings with Comey.

Mr Mueller will have sweeping powers and the authority to prosecute any crimes he uncovers.

"The political reason on the Democratic side is obvious: It's to namely keep this issue going and to keep it ideally going into the 2018 elections and, even more, into the presidential elections of 2020", he said.

The selection of Mueller, a taciturn former federal prosecutor who led the FBI through the September 11 attacks, received bipartisan embrace. "So poor in fact that, I believe - and you'd have to ask him, because I don't like to speak for other people - but I believe that's why the deputy attorney general went out and wrote his very, very strong letter", Trump said. And Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, called the appointment a "good decision".

Harriger said a special counsel is usually brought it when the DOJ's response might not be viewed as reliable by the public. A senior administration official described Trump's reaction to Mueller's appointment as "measured". But a spokesman for the senator later said that Flynn still has time to comply if he chooses to. Mueller has the ability to take the investigation in nearly any way he sees fit.

But GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly anxious since Trump fired Comey, who had been leading the bureau's probe - and after Comey associates said he had notes from a meeting in which Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into Flynn's Russian Federation ties.

French President Macron talks to Putin, faces media uproar
Saturday's edition of weekly news magazine Der Spiegel featured a cover picture of Macron with the headline "expensive friend". Any reforms would likely still have to wait until after September, when the German leader faces re-election.

Yet a special counsel appointment increasingly seemed the only viable option, particularly following this week's revelation that Comey took notes on a February meeting with Trump in which he said the president had asked him to shut down an investigation into Michael Flynn, the administration's former national security adviser.

With Trump only eight percent of the way through its term, his advisors spend their days swapping rumors of mass White House firings.

In March, Rosenstein made no pledge to Leahy and other Democrats to appoint a special counsel.

At almost every opportunity, in interviews, tweets and public statements, Trump has insisted that the investigation is a politically motivated farce.

"If he did [fire Mueller] the political consequences would be tremendous", Pearl said.

Another partner, Reginald Brown, is representing Paul Manafort.

Rosenstein was due to brief US senators later on Thursday. Still, he is not subject to the day-to-day supervision of the Justice Department.

A similar appointment came in 2003 when the Bush Justice Department turned to Patrick Fitzgerald, then the top federal prosecutor in Chicago, to investigate who leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer.

The logic here doesn't quite follow, given the special counsel wasn't appointed by Democrats; it was named by his deputy attorney general.

The great risk of any independent counsel is that he'll "go rogue", stretching out the probe to unrelated issues until he finds some scalp to collect.


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