Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Donald Trump told Russians James Comey a 'nut job'

Donald Trump told Russians James Comey a 'nut job'

If Rosenstein had appointed, say, Rudy Giuliani, no one would be wondering if Trump would try to fire him.

The next day Rosenstein issued the memo to Trump, and Comey was swiftly dismissed. Rosenstein said that though he was personally fond of Comey, "I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader". "I don't understand where the secret is".

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan said he would not discuss information provided in classified briefings and said the House Oversight committee had already asked for documents related to Comey's firing. The law states that the special counsel must give the attorney general a "confidential report" of its findings, and the attorney general "may determine that public release of these reports would be in the public interest".

Rosenstein has publicly denied being conscious of his reputation, telling a Baltimore business group this week: "I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States". "He was explicitly non-responsive", Sherman said.

- Robert Mueller is apolitical, nonpartisan, and willing to put himself on the line.

Democrats have challenged Rosenstein's impartiality in the Russian Federation probe because he wrote a memorandum used as the rationale for Comey's firing.

Rosenstein, the No. 2 Justice Department official, named Mueller amid mounting pressure in Congress for an independent investigation beyond existing FBI and congressional probes into the Russian Federation issue. "I am not aware of any such request".

US President Donald Trump lashed out at the appointment of a special counsel to investigate allegations that his campaign collaborated with Russian Federation to sway the 2016 election, tweeting Thursday that it is "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

"As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity", the statement said.

Rosenstein was due to brief US senators later on Thursday.

The President also suggested that the investigation that will now be led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller was also motivated by an attempt to tarnish his election victory previous year. Some still wanted a clearer understanding of why, exactly, he wrote his memo, but reported that despite being asked numerous times in various ways, Rosenstein would not elaborate.

Washington lawmakers from both parties have expressed confidence in Mueller.

House members and senators said Rosenstein in his briefings steered clear of specifics in answering questions about his appointment of Mueller but made clear the former FBI director, will have wide latitude to pursue the investigation, potentially including criminal charges.

As for the separate report of a "person of interest" under investigation, the Post said the senior White House adviser "under scrutiny" is someone close to the president but did not name the person.

"This is a fight for the soul of our democracy", he added. That's why I have been calling for a special prosecutor and an independent commission to get to the bottom of Russian interference in our election.

Comey turned down an invitation to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"So far, there's been no suggestion that we can not continue to go forward", Scalise told reporters.

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.

On the right, politicians were generally positive about Mueller, though the decision to appoint a special counsel generated mixed feelings, with most prominent Republicans having resisted the idea. The bipartisan U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is also now investigating any potential Russian intervention into our election.

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