Ex-FBI chief Mueller to head Trump-Russia probe

TOPSHOT- Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos speaks as US President Donald Trump listens during a press conference in the East Room of the White House

On Fox News, Sean Hannity warned Wednesday of a "destroy Trump alliance" that is now "aligning to take down President Trump".

A look at the powers and limits of Robert Mueller's new job as special counsel looking at possible links between Russian Federation and Trump campaign associates.

Wittes, who is a friend of Comey and an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, says that the then-FBI director expressed overt reservations about then-unconfirmed Rosenstein during a relatively casual lunch.

Earlier in the day, Trump had complained about media coverage of the Russian matter, saying that "no politician in history - and I say this with great surety - has been treated worse or more unfairly".

A former federal prosecutor who served under presidential administrations of both parties and became director days before the attacks, Mueller was so valued that President Barack Obama asked him to stay on two years longer than his 10-year term.

"We owe it to the American people to find out what happened, and I'm encouraged to see that the justice department has appointed a special counsel to lead the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election", Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera said. Democrats and some of the president's fellow Republicans had demanded an independent probe of whether Russian Federation tried to sway the outcome of November's election in favor of Trump and against Democrat Hillary Clinton. The Republican leader, who has struggled to shake off suspicions that Russian Federation helped put him in the White House, has been accused of seeking to block the investigation by sacking FBI chief James Comey. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing. "That's taken off." The president also reportedly said: "I'm not under investigation". The Justice Department's newly appointed special counsel, Robert Mueller, was given the authority to investigate not only potential collusion but also related allegations, which would include obstruction of justice.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill generally welcomed the Justice Department action and praised Mueller for his integrity, but House and Senate Republican leaders said they would go on with their own investigations of the Russian Federation matter.

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"If he substituted his judgement for Comey's under circumstances where he would try to make it look like Flynn was being cleared but he was actually orchestrating it, to me... the key word in the statute of obstruction to justice is 'corruptly.' What corruptly means is you have to understand that what you're doing is a violation of the law and you have to do it with a specific objective to subvert an ongoing investigation".

The top Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer, said Rosenstein did "the right thing" by appointing Mueller. It's not likely to matter, though, because according to sources, Trump doesn't feel Flynn should even be under investigation.

His legal issues have been a problem for the White House from the beginning and are at the centre of a growing political crisis for Trump.

Normally, we could assume he meant the latter version, having to do with harassment of political opponents, but knowing Trump, he could very well be thinking of voodoo dolls and cauldrons as well.

The White House has disputed Mr Comey's account of his February conversation with Mr Trump concerning Gen Flynn but has not offered specifics. This person can pursue criminal indictments in grand jury investigations, but the attorney general can fire them at any time and overrule any decisions they make when it comes to investigating or prosecuting the case.

In the remarks, Rosenstein said he learned a day before Comey's firing that Trump wanted to dismiss him.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote the memo the president initially cited as justification for firing FBI Director James Comey.

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