Stop Trump from pulling a 'Saturday Night Massacre' over Russian Federation probe

Pauline Gross
June 18, 2017

Those private remarks from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein are significant because they reflect the widening nature of the federal probe, which now includes a preliminary inquiry into whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice when he allegedly tried to curtail the probe and then fired James Comey as FBI director.

Sessions has already recused himself from the case, so Rosenstein is effectively the Attorney General on the case and Brand would replace him should he recuse himself.

The Washington Post reported Thursday evening that Mueller's team is also focusing on the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law.

The Democratic National Committee called on Rosenstein to recuse himself from the Russian Federation matter, but it said authority over the investigation should be given to Mueller and not another Trump appointee.

After the firestorm caused by Comey's firing, Rosenstein appointed Mueller, Comey's predecessor as FBI director, to take over the DOJ Russia investigation.

Second, by "the man who told me to fire the FBI Director" Trump appears to be referring to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that the special counsel overseeing the Russian Federation investigation is widening its probe to include a look at whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice.

Trump's Friday morning tweet capped off 24 hours of comments on Twitter about the investigation, including several remarks about his opponent in the 2016 election.

On Thursday night, Rosenstein issued a statement imploring Americans to "exercise caution" when reading stories citing anonymous "officials". The Russian bank, Vnesheconombank, which has been the subject of US sanctions following Russia's annexation of Crimea, has said the session was held for business reasons because of Kushner's role as head of his family's real estate company.

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Donald Trump took to Twitter Friday to insist that despite months of investigating, no proof has emerged that he colluded with Russian Federation to tilt the 2016 presidential election in his favor. The president has denied that he told Comey to drop the Flynn investigation. The attorney general was at a White House meeting when the notification came from Rosenstein, prompting the enraged President to scold the attorney general for the turn of events. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote his own letter, insisting that Rosenstein's hard-earned reputation as an "apolitical actor" was "now imperiled" by the deputy attorney general's role in Comey's firing. All of this is apparently the bones of Mueller's obstruction of justice investigation of the president.

The FBI and Congress are both looking at whether Trump campaign officials colluded with the alleged Kremlin plot. At the time, he was not under investigation but Mr Comey's revelations prompted an investigation to be started - which Mr Trump has acknowledged in Twitter posts.

President Donald Trump is beginning his day with a stream of tweets defending his record and lashing out at the investigation into Russian interference in the election.

Yet Trump's angry tweets on Friday underscored the near-impossible challenge his advisers and legal team have in trying to get him to avoid weighing in on an active probe.

President Trump now finds himself exactly where he doesn't want to be: under investigation by a dogged, highly respected prosecutor who owes him no personal or political loyalty.

In a statement many have described as "odd", Rosenstein warned the US public to "exercise caution" before trusting media reports citing anonymous officials, despite the fact that the Trump administration continues to use them in official statements to the media. Trump fired Comey in May.

But Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday that he does not expect Trump to seek to fire them.

The Justice Department's investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election is looking at Kushner's multiple roles in the Trump administration, including the Trump campaign's 2016 data analytics operation; his relationship with former national security adviser Michael Flynn; and Kushner's own contacts with Russians, according to U.S. officials briefed on the probe.

Other reports by GizPress

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