emfizz.com June 26, 2017

United States senator insists special counsel won't derail Congress' Russia probes

20 May 2017, 08:38 | Jan Cross

In the 1990s, Democrats complained that independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who investigated President Bill Clinton, overstepped his authority. He was insane, a real nut job.

It also comes after the president dismissed former FBI Director James Comey. Pressure has spiked in Congress for an independent probe into ties between Trump's campaign and Moscow, which United States intelligence chiefs accuse of interfering to sway the election in the Republican's favour.

The appointment follows bipartisan calls for a more independent investigation into President Donald Trump's potential ties to Russian Federation.

It did not deny the Times report that Trump was critical of Comey to the Russians the day after he fired him.

"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.

"This" being the appointment of a special counsel to the Russian Federation investigation that has vexed his presidency from the near-beginning. 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.

In a hearing in March, Comey announced the FBI was investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to sway the 2016 presidential election in Trump's favor.

Further questions arose on May 16 when reports surfaced that Trump had asked Comey during his first weeks in office to end an investigation into Russia's ties with former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The public interest, he said, "requires me to place this investigation into the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command".

- Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee investigating Russian influence, in a Fox News interview in which he also praised Mueller's "impeccable credentials". On Wednesday, the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to preside over the investigation, which will certainly include Flynn.

"This surprised me because I had always thought well of Rosenstein", Wittes recalls, adding that Comey did not appear "enthusiastic".

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Initially, the White House argued that Comey was sacked based on the recommendations of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who wrote a memo suggesting Comey was unable to continue at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Democratic Senator Al Frankens said that appointing Mueller is an important step that will help restore the public trust and result in a thorough and comprehensive investigation.

No less a commentator than Russia's Vladimir Putin called the dramatic charges swirling around Mr Trump evidence of "political schizophrenia spreading in the US".

Trump's dismissal of Comey was met with bipartisan derision.

The news said the documents that included the president's comments were based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and have been circulated as the official account of the May 10 meeting.

According to Wittes, he and Comey aren't the best of friends.

The news that Trump wants to bring Flynn back to the White House isn't shocking, at least relative to what we've come to expect from Trump.

"As I said, Nixonian", said Sen.

On Capitol Hill, Mr Comey was clearly the man in demand, with three committees working to seat him at their witness tables soon, two in the Senate and one in the House.

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

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

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