McGovern: Robert Mueller needs to get probe moving

Marco Green
May 19, 2017

He also told them that he was not pressured into writing his memo.

The White House initially said last week that Trump was prompted to fire Comey after reading the Rosenstein letter.

The appointment of Mueller as special counsel will raise the intensity of the investigation and make it less vulnerable to political interference.

Rosenstein received support from the Senate a month ago when he was confirmed by a vote of 94 to 6 to be the Justice Department's second-highest-ranking official.

Mr Rosenstein told the senators that, in fact, Mr Trump had chose to fire Mr Comey the day before he wrote his memo.

We aren't alone. According to an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday, 78 percent of Americans said they preferred a Russian Federation investigation led by an independent prosecutor or independent commission; 15 percent said they preferred an investigation led by Congress.

TRT World's Ediz Tiyansan reports from Washington DC.

In former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the DOJ appears to have chosen for special Russian Federation counsel a respected figure of integrity, possessed of impeccable credentials, who inspires confidence this investigation will be conducted in thorough, professional and impartial fashion.

To emphasize the independence of his decision, Rosenstein did not notify White House counsel Donald McGahn of the appointment until 5:30 p.m., the same time Justice Department officials were briefing reporters and 30 minutes before the news became public. Number 45 responded with a series of tweets that said no one has ever been treated more unfair and the entire episode is a witch hunt. In his Tweets, he also complained that there was never a special counsel for what he called the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign and the Obama Administration.

President Donald Trump declared himself the victim of the "greatest witch hunt" in American political history Thursday and slapped down accusations he tried to quash a probe into collusion between his campaign team and Russian Federation. "This is a truth hunt", said Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar.

The Senate Intelligence Committee and House Government Oversight Committee have each requested Comey testify before their panels.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said he is supportive of investigations in Congress but expressed concern about the "proliferation" of hearings.

"I think there were lessons learned and they won't be repeated", he said.

Why Mr Rosenstein felt compelled to write the memo remains unknown.

While the [appointment of Mueller] will provide some short-term political relief, not least for Mr. Rosenstein, it also opens up years of political risk to the Trump Administration with no guarantee that the public will end up with any better understanding of what really happened.

"Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein made clear that the primary mission of the Special Counsel, who will now lead the (Justice) investigation, is to determine whether or not there were any violations of criminal law", Collins said. "It seems to me now to be considered a criminal investigation".

In the memo, Rosenstein wrote that the FBI director had violated long-standing Justice Department practices in his handling of the bureau's investigation of Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

Asked outright whether he had asked Comey - as reported - to drop the investigation into the Moscow connections of his sacked national security advisor, Michael Flynn, Trump fired back: "No".

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.

"Director Comey was very unpopular with most people", he suggested. Every day is something new.

"We had everyone working on the investigation sign an agreement that they would not leak, and if they did, they would be sacked", said John Danforth, who was appointed as special counsel to lead the investigation into the FBI's role in the 1993 fiery Waco, Texas, siege.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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