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Trump confirms he's under investigation, fires angry tweets
18 June 2017, 12:06 | Bernice Figueroa
Trump takes a Twitter swipe at deputy attorney general, a key figure in Russia probe
Mueller, a former FBI director who was named special counsel for the Russian Federation investigation after Comey was sacked, is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Kremlin officials in a bid to tilt the 2016 election in his favor.
Trump himself used Twitter Friday to lash out at Rosenstein, saying he was "being investigated" for firing former FBI Director James Comey "by the man who told me to fire the FBI director", seemingly referencing Rosenstein.
The list of people who enrage the president is said to include Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russian Federation investigation in the first place, and former golden boy Jared Kushner for convincing the president that the Democrats would applaud Comey's dismissal because of him sandbagging Hillary Clinton before the election.
The president was referring to the fact that Rosenstein drafted a memo on why FBI Director James Comey should be fired, and that special counsel Mueller is reportedly including the firing of Comey within the scope of his investigation, as an instance of possible obstruction of justice.
At a ceremony last month to welcome Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, the Justice Department's third-ranking official, Rosenstein joked awkwardly about being at the center of criticism since taking office, according to people who were in the room.
"This is not a hypothetical exercise", said Cramer, who's managing director of consulting firm Berkeley Research Group LLC. When Comey was deputy attorney general in the Bush administration, he appointed a close friend and former colleague, Patrick Fitzgerald, as special counsel to investigate who leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer.
"If President Trump were to try to replicate [former President Richard] Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre by firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in addition to Mueller, Congress must unite to stop him - without respect to party, and for the sake of the nation", he said.
She said that "the president has embarked on an effort to undermine anyone with the ability to bring any misdeeds to light".
In the Senate, Sen. Rosenstein acknowledged something like this in a recent meeting, according to reporting by ABC News. "However nothing has changed".
"The message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn't apply to him and that anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired", Feinstein said.
Moreover, it's not clear that anyone is investigating Trump for firing Comey.
Rosenstein has been overseeing the Russian Federation probe since shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.
Brand is a conservative who served in the department under President George W. Bush and doesn't have a background in criminal prosecutions. Rosenstein had written a scathing memo criticizing Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, which the White House initially cited as the impetus for Comey's ouster. In any event, Trump grossly mishandled the firing. Boente carried out the defense. Her attitude toward the investigation is likely to be a bit different from Rosenstein's, more informed by the structure of presidential authority and less by unwritten norms of prosecutorial independence. If he fires Sessions, Rosenstein would become acting attorney general until the Senate confirms a permanent replacement. "So, it is not hard for me", he said, arguing that while a new president and attorney general will have new priorities, the way the department peruses and prosecutes cases doesn't change.
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