What is a special counsel and what powers will Mueller yield?

Elias Hubbard
May 19, 2017

But GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly anxious since Trump fired Comey, who had been leading the bureau's probe - and after Comey associates said he had notes from a meeting in which Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into Flynn's Russian Federation ties.

They included Trump's firing of Comey, reports that Trump had previously pressured Comey to end a probe of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Trump discussing sensitive information on Islamic State with Russia's foreign minister.

But the disclosure could increase the pressure on Trump and his aides to provide the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Congress with a full account of interactions with Russian officials and others with links to the Kremlin during and immediately after the 2016 election. However, Trump later lashed out at the appointment of the special counsel in a series of tweets.

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.

There had been a growing call from all political parties for a special prosecutor to take over the Russian Federation investigation. He's also called for Comey to testify publicly before Congress.

Asked by a reporter Wednesday whether the Comey memo would warrant impeachment, he said "yes", according to a report from The Hill. He added, "But everybody gets a fair trial in this country".

U.S. President Donald Trump listens to questions from the media as he meets with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos (not pictured) in the Oval Office in Washington, DC, U.S., May 18, 2017.

Trump cited displeasure with the FBI's Russian Federation probe as a factor in dismissing Comey. "Should that not happen, I support issuing a Congressional subpoena to obtain the memo". Democratic senators had been prepared to press him to appoint a special prosecutor, and his decision defused their complaints, leading to praise instead. Democrats have been pushing for an independent investigation on the subject, and on Wednesday threatened to push a discharge petition to force a vote on the matter.

The President's tweets appear to signal a policy of resistance to Mueller's investigation, that will now likely cast a shadow over the beleaguered White House for months if not years to come. "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi said an independent commission to investigate the Russian Federation matter was still needed to guard against White House interference.

He added that the Senate Intelligence Committee will maintain a separate investigation, but that "the special prosecutor will do his job and we'll see where it goes". "I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead".

Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a statement that the country will benefit from the investigation. "He will make sure that this team is buttoned down, and not talking", he said.

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

"This is a critical first step, but I still believe we need an independent commission", said Bennet in a statement.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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