Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Special counsel appointment complicates Comey testimony

Special counsel appointment complicates Comey testimony

The Justice Department has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller (MUHL'-ur) as a special counsel to lead a federal investigation into allegations that Donald Trump's campaign collaborated with Russian Federation to sway the 2016 election that put him in the White House.

If a new report about President Donald Trump passing words of reassurance to former national security adviser Michael Flynn is accurate, it could have serious implications in terms of the president's firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

But Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller might complicate things, said lawmakers in both parties, because the ongoing investigation could preclude Comey from talking in public about any ongoing investigations.

Since the beginning of Mr. Trump's presidency, the Democrats have kept up a relentless drumbeat of criticism, from demanding a special prosecutor to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election to successfully "resisting" the GOP's efforts to advance the party's legislative agenda.

"I would like the public to know but now that we have a special counsel I'm not so sure we can", said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the head of a subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee that's investigating Russia's involvement in the 2016 election. But instead of discussing tax rates and structures, Ryan was faced with a series of questions about James Comey, who Trump fired as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week, and the Russian Federation investigation. I think it's a little too soon. Making the offer, asking Comey to testify is the right thing to do. "I just got a message from the president to stay strong", Flynn said after the meal was over, according to two sources who are close to Flynn and are familiar with the conversation, which took place on April 25.

"Asked to comment on the controversy surrounding the reported intelligence-sharing, he said media have reported that "the secret" Trump told him was that "'terrorists' are capable of stuffing laptops, all kinds of electronic devices, with untraceable explosive materials".

President Trump walks toward Marine One while departing the White House Wednesday.

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Lawmakers in both parties are glad there's a special counsel running things.

The men were memorably cast - mostly via Comey's 2007 testimony - as honorable men standing against government overreach when they talked former President George W. Bush out of pushing ahead the renewal of a controversial surveillance program.

Some lobbyists suggested that Congress could consider focusing on tax breaks and perhaps leave aside the comprehensive overhaul of the tax code that they had originally hoped for.

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