Trump now target of collusion, obstruction of justice and money laundering probes
The statement came a day after the Washington Post reported on the investigation by Robert Mueller, the special counsel to FBI’s Russian investigation, into the business dealings of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior aide, Jared Kushner, as a part of the Russia election probe.
ABC News reported Friday that Rosenstein has privately acknowledged he may need to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation but has yet to seek a formal opinion on the matter.
Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller on May 17, testified on Tuesday that he would not fire the special counsel without “good cause”.
A source familiar with the Mueller investigation confirmed the report, saying an examination of possible obstruction of justice charges was “unavoidable” given testimony by former FBI Director James Comey, although the issue may not become the main focus of the probe. Now three more of those administration players, reportedly asked by Trump to intervene with Comey over the FBI investigation of departed National Security Adviser Mike Flynn – Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, head of the National Security Agency Admiral Mike Rogers and Rogers’ recently departed deputy – are scheduled to be interviewed by Mueller, according to a number of media reports.
Five different sources, USA officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence; Adm. Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency; and Rogers’ recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators as early as this week.
A defiant Trump at multiple points Thursday expressed frustration with reports about that development, tweeting he is the subject of “the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history”.
A person who has spoken to Trump within the last 24 hours told CNN “the man” in the tweet is Rosenstein, who wrote a memo recommending Comey’s firing and approved the appointment of a special counsel to look into Russian election meddling.
Thursday night, Rosenstein issued an unusual statement complaining about leaks in the case.
“Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations”, Rosenstein said in his statement. “The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations”, Rosenstein’s full statement read. And Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized his use of Twitter, particularly amid the ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. According to people briefed on his thinking, while Trump has left open the possibility of dismissing Mueller, his anger has been mostly trained on Sessions and Rosenstein. Joe Lieberman, former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, former FBI official Richard McFeely and acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, met with Trump at the White House. The New York Times reported that Trump had been waved off the idea by advisers.
Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday hired his own lawyer to represent him in the special counsel’s Russian Federation investigation. The first time he told Trump was in his first meeting with the president before the inauguration on January 6.
A spokesman for Trump’s personal attorney had strong words in response to the news.
Questions about Kushner’s financial conflicts of interest have been swirling since the moment he joined the Trump campaign. He has already been subpoenaed by the House intelligence committee.
In his afternoon tweets, Trump picked up on that argument. 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.
President Donald Trump and his allies have set their sights on attacking special counsel Robert Mueller in an attempt to paint Mueller as an anti-Trump partisan.
[Copyright By Dwayne Harmon]