Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Robert Mueller gifts probe to US President Donald Trump for birthday

President Donald Trump appeared to confirm Friday that he is under investigation for obstruction of justice, claiming that he is being investigated for firing FBI Director James Comey by the man who told him to do it.

Mr Mueller was appointed as special counsel to investigate Moscow's involvement in the presidential election a year ago and possible collusion by Trump campaign associates with the Russians, but there has been no indication that Mr Mueller told the president to fire Mr Comey.

Mr Comey, who was sacked on May 9, told the Senate Intelligence Committee last week he believed President Trump dismissed him to undermine the FBI's Russian Federation probe.

When Rosenstein appeared before the House Appropriations Committee this week, he stated that Comey's firing could very well become a factor for Mueller's investigation.

His investigation then grew to include looking at whether President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey because he was unwilling to back off the Russian Federation investigation. Now, ABC News reports that Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, who replaced Sessions in supervising the Department of Justice's investigation into Trump-Russia collusion, knows that he might have to recuse himself, too.

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Rosenstein took over the Russian Federation probe soon after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself. Trump also asked Comey to drop an investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to Comey's testimony.

Comey told a Senate panel last week he believed Trump dismissed him to undermine the FBI's Russian Federation probe.

US President Donald Trump has lashed out on Twitter over reports he is under investigation for possible obstruction of justice, saying he is the victim of a "witch hunt".

Before his dismissal, Comey confirmed publicly that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was in the midst of investigating potential ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the election.

When Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey last month, he initially cited a memo written by Rosenstein as the basis for the dismissal. But later, Trump said in an interview that he would have fired Comey "regardless" of Rosenstein's recommendation.

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Hans Nichols of MSNBC, reporting from the White House, said the tweet is remarkable for two reasons.

It was not clear what prompted the statement, although it came hours after The Washington Post reported that the business dealings of Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are being examined as part of Mueller's investigation. Add all of that on top of Rosenstein's cryptic and unprecedented warning to the American people about "anonymous allegations", and things are looking shady all around.

He reiterated tweets from Thursday morning about the investigation.

The Justice Department declined to comment on Friday. However, Trump later asserted that he had already made the decision himself to fire Comey.

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