Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Trump not under investigation, says lawyer

Trump's tweets come after the top lawyer for his transition team warned the organization's officials to preserve all records and other materials related to the Russian Federation probe. Rosenstein, who would be responsible for actually dismissing Mueller, told USA lawmakers he would fire him only with good cause. The White House press office immediately pointed to Rosenstein's detailed memo as the justification for Comey's surprise termination.

"Let me clear. The presidents not under investigation, as James Comey said in his testimony, that the president was not the target of investigation on three different occasions", Sekulow told CNN in another interview. Trump also bragged to visiting Russian diplomats that getting rid of Comey relieved him of "great pressure because of Russia".

Rosenstein has been overseeing the Russian Federation probe since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.

It's unclear why Rosenstein issued the warning or whether anyone prompted him to do so.

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". That had not happened as of Friday afternoon, but the possibility remains. The Washington Post or one of President Trump's attorneys? Rosenstein also insisted Mueller's investigation would have the resources it needs. "That's the the long-established practice of the Justice Department".

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That would be unsettling for a Justice Department where many top positions remain unfilled. Attorney general Jeff Sessions then held up that memo to justify Comey's firing. That is why investigators want to know more about a meeting between Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and executives of Vnesheconombank, a Russian state-owned development bank now under USA sanctions. Right now, that's Dana Boente, who is also acting as head of the department's National Security Division.

"Well, I wish it were that simple", Tapper responded, "but with all due respect, the president said, "I am being investigated" in a tweet, and people take his word on that".

President Trump now finds himself exactly where he doesn't want to be: under investigation by a dogged, highly respected prosecutor who owes him no personal or political loyalty. But that doesn't appear to violate any ethics rules, either, Slansky said.

The Justice Department on Friday said any such of consideration of recusal was premature. That tweet was in response to a Washington Post story that ran with five unnamed sources - without identifying the agencies they represented - saying that the special council had brought down his investigation to include the president.

Rosenstein will have to recuse himself from any supervisory role in the Mueller investigation due to this possible conflict of interest. Robert Mueller is not that person. "Witch Hunt", Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to his May 9 dismissal of James Comey. That habit is hurting him in Washington, where even if the president has the legal power to command and dismiss Federal Bureau of Investigation directors and deputy attorney generals, he can not do so without political repercussions.

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