Russia probe causes tension among top officials at Justice Department

Trump lashes out at 'bad,' 'conflicted' Russia investigators

Amid reports Donald Trump is unhappy with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's closeness with fired FBI Director James Comey, the top ethics lawyer from ex-President George W. Bush's administration said Saturday Vice President Mike Pence will "soon become" the next USA president.

President Trump can not invoke executive privilege in relation to the Mueller investigation because it is being conducted by the Justice Department, an arm of the executive branch itself.

Mueller's move came after Comey said in his June 8 testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee that he intentionally handed over his memos, detailing each conversation he had with the president, over to Mueller.

But Rosenstein has privately told people at the Justice Department, as ABC News first reported, that he may need to step aside from his role supervising the special-counsel investigation, according to officials familiar with the conversations. Eight days after Trump fired Comey, Rosenstein named Mueller special prosecutor, giving him significant independent resources to continue the Russian Federation investigation.

The president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction, " lawyer Jay Sekulow from Trump's legal team told NBC's Meet The Press program.

Mr. Rosenstein wrote a memo used by the White House to justify Comey's firing, prompting him to reportedly threaten to resign since the memo, though critical of the former director's performance, did not recommend his termination. And, short of firing Mueller - which would be political suicide for Trump - he just has to wait and see how it plays out. "As the deputy attorney general has said numerous times, if there comes a point when he needs to recuse, he will", Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement. "Witch Hunt", the president wrote on Twitter.


"I appointed him. I stand by that decision", Rosenstein said.

The special counsel is looking for evidence to support claims that Trump's associates illegally colluded with Moscow during the president's victorious run for the White House past year.

Rosenstein, the former USA attorney in Maryland, was forced to take over supervision of the Russian Federation investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself.

The Republican National Committee denounced the Washington Post report on Mueller now targeting Trump for a potential obstruction of justice charged, declaring, "This story is nothing more than an example of even more leaks coming out of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and special counsel's office in an effort to undermine the President".

Right-wing media backers of Trump have been preparing the ground for Trump to fire Rosenstein, Mueller or both. An official of Trump's transition confirmed the lawyer's internal order, which was sent Thursday. The order also covers separate inquiries into several key Trump associates including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, campaign adviser Paul Manafort, foreign policy aide Carter Page and outside adviser Roger Stone.

The Twitter attacks came as Vice-President Mike Pence hired a personal lawyer to represent him in the intensifying investigation.

Related:

  • Trump lashes out at 'bad,' 'conflicted' Russian Federation  investigators

    Trump lashes out at 'bad,' 'conflicted' Russian Federation investigators

    But, after the news came out, there was speculation that Trump could be planning to fire Mueller from his post as special counsel. The Trump administration has been embroiled in an investigation into alleged Russian interference into the 2016 USA election.
    Escaped Inmates Held Terrified Couple Hostage Prior To Their Capture

    Escaped Inmates Held Terrified Couple Hostage Prior To Their Capture

    Sills said investigators were trying to determine how the killers got out of the inmate cage and into the driver's compartment. Audio released from the pursuit to capture Rowe and Dubose show police and deputies responding with calm and clear reactions.
    Trump reverses course in Qatar call

    Trump reverses course in Qatar call

    The Qatari Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Slogans against and in support of Qatar have dominated Twitter in Arabic.
  • From regal to rustic, Trump heads to Camp David for weekend

    From regal to rustic, Trump heads to Camp David for weekend

    Bush gathered his Cabinet there after the 9/11 terror attacks . "But, I like to say, it doesn't really affect the residents". The president's inaugural visit to the wooded hideaway arrives almost five months into his presidency.
    Spanish bullfighter dies after being gored

    Spanish bullfighter dies after being gored

    The bullfighter caught his feet in his cloak while attempting a turn created to distract the specially-bred fighting animal. Around 1,000 bulls a year are killed in this way in France every year. 'We just do not know how it could have happened'.
    NBC radio station refuses to play Megyn Kelly's Alex Jones interview

    NBC radio station refuses to play Megyn Kelly's Alex Jones interview

    Kelly has drawn a ton of criticism for even interviewing him, but now at least it seems one station has found a solution. Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-gun violence organization, disinvited Kelly from its gala, which she was scheduled to host.
  • Hot and humid in Houston thru at least Tuesday

    Hot and humid in Houston thru at least Tuesday

    That front will stall to our east and start to wash out along the coast by Tuesday , so a shower or storm will still be possible. The big weather story is the major cool down for today after a week straight of highs in the 90s, today we'll be in the low 80s.
    Juneteenth celebrated all over Houston area

    Juneteenth celebrated all over Houston area

    Juneteenth marks the day General Gordon Granger gave the news of freedom to slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865 in Galveston. When the slaves were freed, in 1865, they held rodeos, went fishing, had barbecues, payed baseball.

    Hammond: Britain is leaving customs union and single market

    Following tomorrow's meeting, talks will continue on a monthly basis throughout the summer . The government also said the extra legislative time was needed to pass its domestic agenda.
  • Taylor Swift's music is returning to Spotify, Pandora, more

    In a pop star gut punch heard 'round the world, Taylor Swift did her best to overshadow Katy Perry's release of Witness tonight. Only Apple Music was allowed to stream the music when it chose to pay royalties to artists during a free three-month trial.
    Taliban infiltrate Afghan army to target foreign troops

    Taliban infiltrate Afghan army to target foreign troops

    Nevertheless, these attacks fueled a strong sense of mistrust between the coalition soldiers and the Afghan military. Green-on-blue attacks have been a major problem during NATO's long years fighting alongside Afghan forces.
    JK policemen killed in Achabal ambush, terrorists disfigure faces

    JK policemen killed in Achabal ambush, terrorists disfigure faces

    Junaid Mattoo, a resident of Khudwani village in Kulgam, was acting as the district commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba, police said. Kashmir , a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.

Comments

Latest news

Portuguese radio says 25 people killed in forest fires
Death toll expected to rise, with firefighters battling at least 60 forest fires that started in Pedrogao Grande area. A local resident Isabel Brandao told The Associated Press: "Yesterday we saw the fire but thought it was very far.

Democrats and Republicans unite in a touching dedication to Steve Scalise
Daily Caller's Kaitlan Collins reported that "Scalise has received multiple units of blood transfusion". Trump only alluded to the shooting indirectly while voicing support for the victims.

DA suspends ex-leader Zille after colonialism tweet
He added that Zille had referred to the wrong chapter of the party constitution, which dealt with suspension of membership. Reasons stated by Maimane for the party's federal executive to suspend Zille was not the full story, she said.

Ovation for Jeremy Corbyn as he returns to House of Commons
Now that the election is over, however, her rating is down in the dumps at -34. Corbyn, while the loser on paper, proved May wrong.

Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc's (RB) Buy Rating Reiterated at Citigroup Inc
The Company's producing royalties include Kestrel, Narrabri, Maracas Menchen, El Valle- Boinas/Carles (EVBC) and Four Mile. The stock of Anglo Pacific Group plc (LON:APF) has "Hold" rating given on Wednesday, September 16 by FinnCap.

Trump tweets his frustration with Russia investigation
In his latest tweets this morning, the president called the investigation a "witch hunt" and appeared to call out Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein .

List of GOP congressmen found with baseball practice shooter
While trying to drive away from that confrontation, the report said, Hodgkinson used a pocket knife to cut a seat belt. Mayor, how are you doing? "They don't deserve this, I don't deserve this, my daughters don't deserve all this".

Gunfire heard at Mali resort area popular with foreigners
In a video released in March, jihadists said those two were joining together along with two Mali-based terror groups. Al-Qaeda's North African affiliate Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Cosby accuser to resume testimony in sex assault trial
She claimed she was then jolted awake and felt Cosby's hand groping her breast under her shirt, then groping her genitals. Cosby would retaliate and try to hurt me, that he would try to hurt me and my family in some way", Constand said.

Brexit negotiations to go ahead on Monday, Government confirms
Norway is in the single market, in return for accepting free immigration from the EU, EU courts and budget payments. Foster said the talks would not cover social issues. "I can't negotiate with myself", he told The Financial Times.

US Open leaderboard 2017
The soft, forgiving conditions created opportunity for major movement up the leaderboard for those players willing to take it. Open and the top six golfers are separated by three strokes. "That means I'm a part of history", Thomas told reporters.

Senate Passes Sanctions on Iran and Russian Federation
A day earlier, the Senate voted to adopt an amendment to the bill that would expand sanctions against Russia, CBS News reported . The bill includes a mechanism requiring congressional review of any decision to ease the Russian Federation sanctions.

Palestinians dispute IS claim for deadly attack on Israel
Terror group ISIS claimed responsibility of the attack, reaffirming that the attack was premeditated and not improvised. However there have been a string of recent attacks near the Old City in east Jerusalem .

Leonard Ellerbe talks Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor
For the Mayweather v McGregor fight to hit the $1bn mark it would likely need to double its pay-per-view sales. Holm expects more cross-over challenges - between UFC fighters and professional boxers - in the future.

Beyoncé and Jay Z Welcome Twins, According to Grandpa, Other Sources
While she performed at the Grammys to rave reviews, she postponed plans to headline the Coachella Music Festival until 2018. Several reports say Beyonce delivered twins earlier this week and have shared the news only with close family and friends.

Other news