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

Senators: Rosenstein knew of Comey firing before memo


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

The memo, on the heels of Trump's abrupt firing of Comey last week, fueled accusations by lawmakers of possible obstruction of justice and calls for an independent prosecutor to oversee the FBI's ongoing counterintelligence probe into possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation during the presidential campaign.

Majority Whip Steve Scalise told reporters that if the special counsel gets to a point where the investigation is interfering, then they will have that conversation.

Trump directly addressed the matter for the first time Thursday, flatly denying that he made such a request.

He did not offer any evidence of such acts in his reference to former Democratic President Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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To start a call, you'll need to wake the Echo up by saying " Alexa " and then ask it to call someone, for example "call dad". It's due out in the United States on 28 June for $229.99 (around £175) and can be pre-ordered from Amazon's website.


President Donald Trump is assailing the naming of a special counsel as "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

"This is a truth hunt", said Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar. "A special prosecutor is supposed to investigate a crime and most of the things that have been leveled at the Trump administration are not criminal acts".

Rosenstein briefed USA senators on Thursday, but made no public comments.

Rosenstein said that he and Attorney General Jeff Sessions had "discussed the need for new leadership at the FBI" in one of their first meetings, and that he believed Comey had damaged the credibility of the bureau and the Justice Department through the Clinton case.

Mueller was named as special counsel on Wednesday, one day after a report surfaced that Trump had requested ex-FBI Director James Comey end any investigations involving National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.

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Rosenstein, according to his a copy of his prepared remarks at a briefing before the US House of Representatives, said that he learned on May 8 that Trump meant to fire Comey and that Trump sought Rosenstein's "advice and input" that same day. But Mueller's appointment apparently took some of the edge off. Comey, for instance, has been invited to testify in front of several committees next week; if the special counsel's investigation does end up pursuing criminal charges, he and other figures may not be able to speak publicly. Democrats have long called for such an appointment and Republicans appeared to drop much of their opposition in wake of the disclosures about Trump's appeal for Comey to back off the investigation of Flynn. Trump wrote, ignoring impeachment efforts and blistering verbal attacks on previous presidents and other political leaders. "Mr. Rosenstein has done the right thing", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said on the Senate floor.

Zeidenberg was the assistant special counsel in the 2003 investigation into the leaking of the identity of Central Intelligence Agency officer Valerie Plame, which ultimately lead to Vice President Dick Cheney's advisor Scooter Libby being convicted of obstruction of justice, among other counts.

Trump fired Flynn on 14 February for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the extent of his conversations previous year with Russia's ambassador.

Blum, a businessman from Dubuque, said in a separate interview on Fox Business Network on Wednesday that he is comfortable with the appointment of the special counsel to investigate alleged ties between Trump's campaign and the Russian interference.

While it frustrated many Democrats, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said he understood why Rosenstein was guarded.

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Asked on his way out of the news conference whether he still retained confidence in Trump, Ryan replied: "I do". Comey declined to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the days following his firing.


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