Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Senators: Rosenstein knew of Comey firing before memo

The New York Times reported on Thursday that Trump called Comey weeks after he took office on January 20 and asked him when federal authorities were going to say Trump was not under investigation.

A self-described friend of Comey's wrote in a public blog post on Thursday that Comey had told him that he had rebuffed a Trump request for loyalty by promising only honesty. "The shape and scope of the congressional investigation has dramatically changed".

The White House repeated its assertion that a "thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity". Trump fired Comey on May 9. The details of his comments to the Russians would seem to bolster theories that Trump fired Comey in an effort to choke off the Russia investigation.

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that Mr. Trump is correct and there is nothing to the suspicions that members of his campaign collaborated with the Russians. Mueller will have to propose a budget to the Justice Department within the next 60 days - and update it annually, for as long as the investigation runs. "The investigation would have always continued, and obviously the termination of Comey would not have ended it". Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have essentially called this a first step in the right direction that gives them "greater confidence" in the investigation.

Among Trump's senior White House advisers are several former campaign officials, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Kellyanne Conway.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's running mate in her failed presidential bid, tweeted that he hoped Mueller would "get some answers".

"It is hard to see a friend of yours being in the middle of that", said Jan Paul Miller, a St. Louis attorney who worked with Rosenstein when both were assistant USA attorneys in Maryland. Under the order Rosenstein signed, Mueller is tasked with investigating "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump" as well as "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation". If Rosenstein had appointed, say, Rudy Giuliani, no one would be wondering if Trump would try to fire him.

"After my 10th day on my new job in Washington, D.C., a friend sent me a text message that said, 'You need to get out of there!'" Rosenstein said.

Movie filmed in Cincinnati up for highest award at Cannes
His new film Bright, a fantasy cop thriller co-starring Noomi Rapace, is scheduled for a Netflix-only release in December. This is also the first festival held since the nearby Nice attack past year that killed 86 people.

It is breathtaking that we have reached this point just four months into a new administration, but the near daily revelations of shocking developments - whether from information leaked to reporters or straight from the president's Twitter feed - have crippled Mr. Trump's presidency.

Democrats and Trump's fellow Republicans widely praised Mueller's appointment.

Washington lawmakers from both parties have expressed confidence in Mueller. "And I think this shows a very divided country".

The White House has struggled since Comey's firing to explain the chain of events that led to it and who exactly made the decision. Trump has insisted at times that the decision was his alone, but he also has pointed to the "very strong" recommendation from Rosenstein.

Rosenstein already made known how he feels about investigators discussing closed cases, in his memo blasting Comey for publicly discussing the closed Clinton email investigation even when it did not yield charges. Such a firing would require a finding of incapacity, misconduct or "good cause".

Rosenstein has publicly denied being conscious of his reputation, telling a Baltimore business group this week: "I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. I don't understand where the secret is".

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said Rosenstein told senators that he knew Comey would be fired before he wrote his letter accusing him of missteps as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, including his handling of an election-year probe into Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

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