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

Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into Russian Federation links 'hurts United States terribly'

Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into Russian Federation links 'hurts United States terribly'

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said Rosenstein would be questioned about a letter he wrote accusing Comey of missteps as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, including his handling of an election-year probe into Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Christopher Murphy of CT backed up Durbin's account of the briefing. The date of the hearing has not yet been set.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump's daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are all clients of WilmerHale, the firm Mueller is leaving to assume the position of special prosecutor overseeing the high-profile Russian Federation election probe. But the revelations about the timeline dovetail with more recent statements from Trump that he planned to fire Comey regardless of any DOJ recommendation. "I hope that we don't inadvertently trip up or damage the independent investigation of the special counsel", he said.

So far, no evidence of collusion has been presented, but the question has consumed the first four months of Trump's presidency and spurred multiple crises that have left the White House shell-shocked. Every day is something new. "Believe me. My total priority is the United States of America", Trump said.

Graham said he thinks "Congress' ability to conduct investigations of all things Russian Federation has been severely limited, probably in an appropriate fashion".

The developments were a blow to White House efforts to tamp down interest in the Russian Federation investigation as Trump and his staff boarded Air Force One for Saudi Arabia, first stop on his first foreign trip as president. Indeed, if Trump is the "witch", the hunt just got closer to the witch again.

Senate intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, noted that Senate investigators were still pursuing former national security adviser Michael Flynn, even though they do not yet know how Flynn will respond to their subpoena for documents.

Comey told Trump he should not contact him directly about FBI investigations but follow procedure and have the White House counsel ask the Justice Department, which oversees the FBI, the Times reported. It says one official had read quotations to the Times and another had confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.

They included media reports that Trump discussed sensitive intelligence on the Islamic State militant group with Russia's foreign minister.

In less than two weeks, President Donald Trump has turned the most powerful position in the world into a buffet of scandals - of his own making.

The memo is a critical factor, as the Trump administration initially cited Rosenstein's assessment in its explanation for Comey's firing last week.

Some of Trump's Republican allies, like Congressman Jason Amash, have begun cautiously suggesting impeachment is no longer impossible. The others were former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman was among his top choices.

The Justice Department on Friday distributed prepared remarks that Rosenstein delivered to Congress in separate briefings.

"He did acknowledge that he learned Comey would be removed prior to him writing his memo", McCaskill said.

He says his memo is not a finding of official misconduct and is not a statement of reasons to justify Comey's firing.

Trott says Maryland Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings asked something like, "So you woke up one morning and chose to write a memo?"

In announcing the appointment of a special counselor, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he determined the move was "in the public interest".

Trump fired Flynn on February 14 for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the extent of his conversations past year with Russia's ambassador. Even 50 percent of Republicans said it should continue.

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.

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