This was the week the investigation of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election reached the Oval Office – and Trump himself.
The tweet was the first explicit concession by the president that Robert Mueller, the special counsel for the Russian Federation inquiry, had begun examining Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey last month.
Special counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional panels are investigating the Russian Federation issue, which has cast a shadow over the early months of Trump’s presidency. “FBI director” James Comey in a tweet Friday morning, once again calling the investigation a “witch hunt”. Mr Rosenstein has appointed investigative special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the inquiry.
When Trump fired Comey, Rosenstein drafted a memo accusing the FBI director of bungling the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server, and Sessions wrote a letter saying the dismissal was warranted. The President later indicated, however that he had chose to fire Mr Comey with or without approval from the Justice Department, and said in a nationally televised interview that the Russian Federation probe was part of his rationale for the sacking. Mueller was appointed under a rarely used regulation that gives him a broad mandate to investigate just about anything he feels is necessary, which could ultimately include Rosenstein’s role in Comey’s firing.
Dianne Feinstein, the leading Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has already said that she is “increasingly concerned” that Trump will fire both Mueller and Rosenstein. Trump has repeatedly complained about the probe, saying Democrats can not accept his election win. Pence headed the Trump transition until Inauguration Day. Mueller also has expansive powers to investigate any matters that develop from his initial investigation.
A Justice Department spokesman told CNBC, “As the Deputy Attorney General has said numerous times, if there comes a point when he needs to recuse, he will”.
Rosenstein has authority over the inquiry because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself on March 2 after revelations of previously undisclosed meetings with Russia’s ambassador to Washington while he was a Trump campaign adviser.
Trump, who hired his own lawyer last month to represent him regarding probes by the special counsel and congressional committees, continued his harsh criticism of the investigations in series of tweets on Friday.
According to the Post, Trump has three ways of ousting Mueller. This week, Rosenstein assured members of Congress he would not remove Mueller – except for good cause.
Moscow has denied any interference and the White House has denied any collusion. The White House has not commented on this possibility.
Moreover, it’s not clear that anyone is investigating Trump for firing Comey.
Mr Trump also tweeted that no-one had been able to show any proof of collusion with the Russians. “Sad!” he wrote in one post. Sources tell ABC News that he may have to pull out since he does have final say over parts of the special counsel’s investigation.
He also has millions of followers on his official Facebook pages.
But the President is yet to heed that advice, tweeting on Sunday: “The MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN agenda is doing very well despite the distraction of the Witch Hunt”.