Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Chaffetz sees no 'actual crime' for special Russian Federation prosecutor to investigate

Chaffetz sees no 'actual crime' for special Russian Federation prosecutor to investigate

The top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have invited former FBI Director James Comey to testify publicly.

Sen. Charles Grassley, the chairman of the committee, and Democratic Sen. Chaffetz said Wednesday he was inviting Comey to appear before the committee when hearings begin May 24.

No less a commentator than Russia's Vladimir Putin called the dramatic charges swirling around Trump evidence of "political schizophrenia spreading in the U.S".

There was no word on what that record might entail, a question many were likely to raise in light of Trump's recent warning to Comey that he had "better hope" there were no tapes of a discussion they'd had.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he supports the appointment of a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director as special counsel investigating allegations that Russian Federation and Donald Trump's presidential campaign worked together to affect last year's election.

He says the Justice Department's naming of Robert Mueller late Wednesday as special counsel is consistent with that goal.

Mueller does not have the same autonomy as a special prosecutor, an individual appointed by the Justice Department who acts entirely beyond the department's control to handle investigations where there could be a conflict of interest. He also said "it is obvious" that some people want to harm Trump. "The important ongoing bipartisan investigation in the House will also continue", Ryan said. He previously served as US attorney in San Francisco. Trump fired Comey last week.

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The Kentucky Republican had said initially that investigations by the Senate intelligence panel and the FBI were sufficient. While the White House initially insisted the dismissal was precipitated by Comey's mishandling of the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's emails, Trump later told NBC's Lester Holt that the Russian Federation investigation factored into his decision. Trump's erratic and dishonest attempts to interfere with the law enforcement investigation into his campaign were creating an increasingly dire political crisis for congressional Republicans who would be forced to choose between keeping their legislative agenda alive or defending Trump's unsafe behavior.

"I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability", Mueller said in a statement.

Mueller said he will resign from his law firm, WilmerHale.

"It appears, as he departs justice for the last time, hopefully, he will have held every position in the department save one: Attorney general".

It followed the revelation Tuesday that fired Comey had written in a memo that Trump, in a February meeting in the Oval Office, had asked him to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

"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", Efe quoted Trump as saying on Thursday.

As his 12-year run as director was coming to a close, Mueller also began prioritizing cyber threats. "In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country".

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On the other side of the partisan divide, a small but growing number of Democrats are speaking openly about impeachment, arguing that Trump obstructed justice when he asked then-FBI Director James Comey to "go easy" in its probe of Flynn's ties to Russian Federation.

Could a special counsel investigate things beyond simply the Russian Federation connection?

Burr tells reporters, "I think this was a good decision".

Dianne Feinstein and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, both hailed his appointment as special counsel.

She adds that "a special prosecutor is the first step, but it can not be the last".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced Wednesday he had chose to appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller to the role. "Impeccable credentials. Should be widely accepted". The law states that the counsel shall "exercise, within the scope of his or her jurisdiction, the full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions of any United States Attorney".

But the Trump scandal news is developing far too quickly for Republicans to expect any sort of long-term political stabilization from the Mueller appointment.

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