Meet The DOJ Official Who Could Take Over The Trump Investigation

Donald trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin says former FBI Director James Comey's acknowledgement that he had given memos of his conversations with President Donald Trump to a friend who leaked them to the media is "weird".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submitted a widely circulated memo to the president last month raising concerns over Comey's performance, but Trump later asserted that he had already made the decision himself to fire Comey.

Also Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley said his panel will investigate the removal of former FBI Director James Comey and "any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations". "That's undemocratic on its face and a blatant violation of the president's oath of office".

It was not clear what prompted the statement, although it came hours after The Washington Post reported that the business dealings of Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are being examined as part of Mueller's investigation.

Even though Mueller is technically leading the investigation, the DOJ controls the funding for the investigation and can fire Mueller if the department decides it's warranted.

It also asks former transition officials to retain records related to five former Trump campaign associates: former campaign chairman Paul Manafort; his deputy Rick Gates; former foreign policy adviser Carter Page; retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; and Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser.

Mr Mueller was appointed as special counsel to investigate Moscow's involvement in the presidential election previous year and possible collusion by Trump campaign associates with the Russians, but there has been no indication that Mr Mueller told the president to fire Mr Comey.

Earlier this month, Rosenstein told The Associated Press that "if anything that I did winds up being relevant to his investigation then, as Director Mueller and I discussed, if there's a need from me to recuse, I will".


Mr Rosenstein had written a memo the White House used to justify the firing of Mr Comey, BBC reported. Citing unnamed sources, ABC reported Rosenstein told Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand she would have authority over the probe if he were to step aside. An official of Trump's transition confirmed the lawyer's internal order, which was sent Thursday.

The White House has directed questions for details to outside legal counsel, which has not responded. "It would be standard practice for the Special Counsel to examine financial records to look for anything related to Russian Federation".

The order from the general counsel for the transition team casts a wide net on documents that could shed light on ties between Trump's presidential campaign and representatives of Russia's government.

Sessions on Tuesday declined to discuss his interactions with Trump, saying the President may one day want to invoke executive privilege for himself.

"Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russian Federation are not looked at, but my non-dealings are?" he asked.

President Donald Trump is telling his Twitter followers that they are witnessing the "single greatest WITCH HUNT in American history".

During an appearance in Florida on Friday, Vice President Mike Pence said his hiring of his own lawyer to help him in the Russian Federation inquiry was a "very routine" move.

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