Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

What you should know about the 'special counsel' for Trump-Russia investigation

Trump said in a statement after the Justice Department announcement he looked forward to a quick resolution.

He also pledges to never stop fighting for the people and issues that are important to the country's future.

The top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have invited former FBI Director James Comey to testify publicly. Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on a key House oversight panel, countered that Ryan and the Republicans had shown "zero, zero, zero appetite for any investigation of President Trump".

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who joined Sen.

The administration spent the first half of Tuesday defending Trump's disclosure of classified information to senior Russian officials.

He was asked by Democratic President Barack Obama in 2011 to stay on for two more years and was replaced by Comey in 2013.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump gave no indication of the announcement to come in a commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy.

As for Comey, whom Trump fired last week, the FBI director wrote in a memo after a February meeting at the White House that the new president had asked him to shut down the FBI's investigation of Flynn and his Russian contacts, said a person who had read the memo.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY said Mueller's appointment gave him "significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead".

Senate Republicans, including some from leadership, previously argued that the appointment of a special counsel could imperil ongoing congressional probes.

"He's a private citizen now", Bash said, "so he can kind of do what he wants".

In his written statement, Ryan says the House investigation will continue. "I have made no such determination".

Mueller is specifically empowered to examine "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump".

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The Kentucky Republican had said initially that investigations by the Senate intelligence panel and the FBI were sufficient.

Trump still chose Flynn as his national security adviser, with access to nearly every state secret. As special counsel, Mueller will have broad authority to investigate Russian interference in the election, any ties between Russia and Trump associates, among other related matters.

Mueller, in a statement tweeted by CBS News said: "I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability". He was appointed to the position by the Justice Department on Wednesday. Spokespeople declined to comment further.

The appointment came as Democrats insisted ever more loudly that someone outside Trump's Justice Department must handle the politically charged investigation.

"My decision (to appoint a special counsel) is not the finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted".

"I think that Bob Mueller is the kind of prosecutor and investigator we need here", Blumenthal added.

During his tenure as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, from 2001 to 2013, he served both Republican and Democratic administrations, overseeing a shake-up of a huge bureaucracy blamed for missing evidence that could have prevented the September 11, 2001 attacks, and earning high respect from both parties.

She referred to Mueller as "a respected public servant of the highest integrity".

Mueller will steer a parallel probe at the Justice Department. Theoretically, the idea of having a special counsel is that he operates independently, though he can still be fired by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

House Republicans have mixed reactions to the surprise announcement that the Justice Department has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign in 2016.

Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, one of several top Republicans tasked with walking the line between partisan loyalties and answering questions swirling around the Russian Federation probe, called Mueller a "great selection" with "impeccable credentials". "Impeccable credentials. Should be widely accepted". King says, "I'm anxious with all special counsels because there's no control over them and they can abuse their power". Kenneth Starr, who investigated former President Bill Clinton, probed allegations surrounding Clinton's past real estate deals but later expanded the inquiry into his relations with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky, leading to Clinton's impeachment by the House.

The committee also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to give the committee any notes that Comey might have made regarding discussions he had with White House or Justice Department officials about Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

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