Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Mueller Investigation Will Prolong, Not Halt, Political Controversy Over Russia

Mueller Investigation Will Prolong, Not Halt, Political Controversy Over Russia

One striking piece of news emerged from Rosenstein's briefing: He told senators that he had already known Comey was getting fired even as he wrote the memo that Trump cited as a significant justification for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's dismissal.

"Comey took the long walk across the room determined, he told me, that there was not going to be a hug".

"He knew that Comey was going to be removed prior to writing his memo", Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill told reporters after the briefing.

Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina said a lawyer for Flynn, a key figure in the Trump-Russia investigations, had told the intelligence committee that Flynn would not comply with the panel's subpoena for personal documents related to the committee's own probe.

"The need for former Director Comey to come testify in public soon is as great as ever", said the Senate's top Democrat, Chuck Schumer of NY.

Donald Trump said the appointment of a special prosecutor to take over the Justice Department's probe into alleged ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign "hurts our country terribly".

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told Congress Friday he stands by a memo he wrote bluntly criticizing Comey.

Rosenstein's 2:30 p.m. briefing with the Senate was scheduled before he announced late Wednesday that he was appointing Robert S. Mueller III, a former prosecutor who served as FBI director from 2001 to 2013, to take over the Russian Federation investigation as special counsel.

The rise of Donald Trump to the White House has caused high anxiety among millions of Americans.

The appointment of Mueller as special counsel has drawn generally favourable comments from Democrats and from some Republicans as well.

"With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel [sic] appointed!"

In a tweet Thursday, the president claimed, "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history". Trump has insisted at times that the decision was his alone, but he also has pointed to the "very strong" recommendation from Rosenstein. One part of the Senate SCIF is large enough to hold all 100 senators, a senior aide said.

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Flynn left his post in February after media reports that he misled the vice president about his contacts with Russian Federation . The Flynn investigation was part of a broader probe into Russian interference in last year's presidential election.


He'd previously said he might announce his nominee before he left.

"The Intelligence Committee in the Senate has to continue its work, and it should continue full throttle ahead", Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the briefing.

Rosenstein may have been asked about his decision to open an independent investigation, as well as the circumstances surrounding the memo he wrote about Comey. He says he thought that move was appropriate and produced a memo summarizing what he said were his "longstanding concerns" over Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation.

But, according to a person close to the White House, Rosenstein was upset about the narrative that emerged from the White House the evening of May 9.

The White House has struggled since Comey's firing to explain the chain of events that led to it and who exactly made the decision.

He says his memo is not a finding of official misconduct and is not a statement of reasons to justify Comey's firing.

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Not for the first time, this scandal has drawn comparisons between Donald Trump and Richard Nixon's Watergate investigation. As the controversy swirled in Washington , Trump had defiant words during a speech to U.S.


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".

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