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etvfutures.com June 23, 2017


Trump publicly acknowledges Russia probe includes him

18 June 2017, 01:55 | Opal Carroll

Trump's Twitter response followed days of intensifying criticism of Mueller from some conservatives who have charged the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director and his team with political bias and have claimed his relationship to Comey and an earlier meeting with Trump amount to conflicts of interest.

The president tweeted Friday, "The Fake News Media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful Social Media - over 100 million people!"

But regardless of who made the decision to fire the FBI director, Rosenstein is now a person of interest in the investigation because of the memo.

Though some in the White House have preached caution, fearing a repeat of the firestorm over Mr Comey's sacking, many in Mr Trump's orbit, including his son Donald Jr and adviser Newt Gingrich, have deemed Mr Mueller biased and worthy of dismissal.

Now the probe has expanded to include investigating whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice when he fired Comey.

Oddly enough, Boente was acting deputy attorney general when Sessions recused himself, and until Rosenstein was appointed.

If Trump ordered Brand to fire Mueller and she refused, the responsibility to oversee the special counsel would fall to Dana Boente, the USA attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, according to a presidential executive order.

What is clear is that he could order the Justice Department to axe Mr Mueller, which may result in Mr Rosenstein's departure and would certainly intensify the uproar over the investigation. That would leave supervision of the Mueller probe to Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, a a Harvard law graduate who clerked for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and ran the Office of Legal Policy at the Justice Department. If Trump has compromised Rosenstein sufficiently, Rosenstein would have to recuse himself from the case, and his replacement could be ordered by Trump to fire Mueller. And the president himself admitted to NBC News he was going to terminate Comey regardless of Rosenstein's opinion. The bottom line is that the investigation must proceed; it must proceed under the leadership of Robert Mueller and it must proceed without any interference or obstruction from Trump or his team.

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Rod Rosenstein recommended to President Trump that he fire former FBI Chief James Comey, though also chose to bring in Robert Mueller, now the probe's special counsel.

'I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! An official of Trump's transition confirmed the lawyer's internal order, which was sent Thursday. In his testimony, Comey told senators that he began detailing his interactions with Trump after meeting the then-president-elect at Trump Tower.

As the legal rope has tightened, Trump's allies have gone on the offensive, questioning Mueller's credibility and floating the idea he may be fired.

The White House has directed questions to outside legal counsel, which has not responded.

In another indication of the seriousness of the probe, Michael Cohen, a personal attorney to Trump, said he has retained attorney Stephen Ryan, a former assistant U.S. attorney, to represent him in the ongoing probes.

Sessions had already recused himself from the investigation, testifying earlier this week that he did so because he had worked on the Trump campaign.

Trump also lashed out at the media, on a day that aides hoped would be focused on his decision to undo some of Barack Obama's detente with Cuba.

Feinstein also is a member of the Senate Intelligence committee, which is conducting its own Russian Federation probe.



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