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

Trump Transition Team Told to Preserve Russia-Related Records - Memorandum


"The way the director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong", Rosenstein wrote, failing to acknowledge the fact Trump cheered Comey's inquiry of Clinton on during the 2016 campaign. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote his own letter, insisting that Rosenstein's hard-earned reputation as an "apolitical actor" was "now imperiled" by the deputy attorney general's role in Comey's firing.

Rosenstein wrote the memo explaining the reasons why Trump should fire Comey.

Accusations of obstruction arose last month when Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

Comey confirmed in sworn testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8 that he had told Trump he was not under investigation - a point Trump celebrated loudly after Comey's testimony.

"He is a man of extraordinary independence and integrity. and great character", Vice President Mike Pence told reporters on Wednesday, noting that the longtime Justice Department official "came to work, sat down and made his recommendation" to fire Comey.

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This post has been updated. "President Trump said prior that once he gets in he's going to kick the S-H-I-T out of the enemy".

Moscow has denied any interference and the White House has denied any collusion.

President Donald Trump confirmed Friday he is under federal investigation and appeared to single out a senior Justice Department official for criticism, underscoring his growing frustration with the persistent focus on Russia's involvement in the 2016 election and possibly his campaign.

A Justice Department official - who declined to speak on the record - told CNN that the White House didn't order Rosenstein's statement.

President Trump's decision to fire Mr. Comey, a move recommended by Mr. Sessions despite having already recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, prompted critics to charge that the president was trying to interfere with a criminal investigation.

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Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, also has retained an attorney to represent him. "Sad!" Trump tweeted Friday morning.

The New York Times notes "The tweet was the first explicit acknowledgment by the president that Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel for the Russian Federation inquiry, had begun examining whether Mr. Trump's firing of Mr. Comey last month was an attempt to obstruct the investigation". The Comey dismissal could become part of a widening investigation into whether the President tried to interfere with the ongoing Russian Federation probe.

Mueller's investigation is still in a relatively early phase, and it is unclear if any criminal charges will be brought when it is complete, the Post pointed out.

The transition official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss post-election decisions publicly.

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