Verify: Understanding the Russian Federation investigation

Author

18 June, 2017

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein faced a public attack by President Donald Trump on Friday over the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, but the Department of Justice says Rosenstein is not preparing to recuse himself as has been suggested in reports.

Rod Rosenstein recommended to President Trump that he fire former FBI Chief James Comey, though also chose to bring in Robert Mueller, now the probe's special counsel.

Trump's young presidency has been battered by allegations - under investigation both by Congress and the FBI - that Russian Federation interfered to sway the 2016 election in his favor, in possible collusion with Trump's campaign team.

Rosenstein was the Justice Department official who drafted a memo to the President alleging numerous deficiencies in the performance of then-FBI Director James Comey.

"Witch Hunt", the President wrote in his tweet.

Tensions are building inside the Justice Department as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein contemplates whether he will become a witness in the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 United States elections.

The President's tweet - seeming to confirm the probe based on news reports - came as a surprise to the President's own legal team, according to a person briefed on the matter. Terming Comey's allegations untrue, Trump later said he was willing to testify under oath but Mueller's reported investigation into the president's actions means that Trump will have to live with the ghost of another probe reaching to the White House.

Trump blocking Twitter critics raises First Amendment concerns
Trump's Twitter use has drawn intense media attention for his unvarnished commentary about his agenda and attacks on critics. Papp , two Twitter users who were blocked by the president's account after criticizing him on the social media network.

At this point, one wonders if there's going to be anyone left in federal government who isn't somehow tainted by the Russian Federation stench, even if it only involves one penned memo.

"This is a political fight and he's going to fight it", a White House official said regarding president's Friday's tweets.

President Donald Trump confirmed Friday he is under federal investigation and appeared to single out a senior Justice Department official for criticism, underscoring his growing frustration with the persistent focus on Russia's involvement in the 2016 election and possibly his campaign. "Regulations way down, jobs and enthusiasm way up!", Trump tweeted. "I can go around them", he tweeted.

Earlier this week, the investigation led by Mueller appeared to move closer to Trump.

Those who have agreed to be interviewed include: Dan Coats, director of national intelligence; Mike Rogers, chief of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, who recently left his post as deputy to Rogers. Trump has disputed both claims, saying flatly that he never asked Comey to drop the Flynn probe.

Trump "believes that he has the power to fire anyone in government he chooses and for any reason", said Representative Adam Schiff, whose committee is also investigating Russia-Trump ties.


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