Comey Testimony Before Lawmakers in Doubt After Special Counsel Named

Former FBI head Robert Mueller appointed as special counsel to Trump Russia investigation

"No. Next question", Trump stated when asked by a reporter about the allegation.

The Justice Department abruptly appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller Wednesday night as a special counsel to lead a federal investigation into allegations that Donald Trump's campaign collaborated with Russian Federation to sway the 2016 election that put him in the White House.

The President wasn't happy being asked if he'd put pressure on the then FBI Director to close an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump is both publicly and privately stewing about Rosenstein's decision to name a special counsel.

By Wednesday evening, a Republican source said that the move effectively shut down Congress' intense digging into Comey and his conversations with Trump. The president interviewed four candidates to replace Comey on Wednesday, and POLITICO reported Thursday that former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman has emerged as the front-runner.

But calmness seemed far off. Some of these Republicans have been quick to criticize the president, while not being almost so harsh on Mr. Comey for failing to disclose his notes to the Justice Department, which would be required by the law if he felt the president was trying to obstruct justice.

Did he in fact collude with Russian Federation in his campaign to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton?

"Believe me, there's no collusion", he said.

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Swecker said he opposed the appointment of a special counsel at first, but after witnessing the public perception of the Russian investigation, he thought it was time.

But Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT, the only Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee who opposed Rosenstein's confirmation last month, said Rosenstein ought to make the same points he made to the senators in a public setting. Despite the president's furious reaction, some fellow Republicans welcomed Mueller's appointment and expressed hopes it would restore some composure to a capital plunged in chaos. "We didn't really get good answers on that".

"I think it divides the country", he went on.

Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein knew James B. Comey was about to be fired before writing his scathing memo to President Trump about the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, senators said Thursday.

But Rosenstein also threatened to resign if Trump's White House kept using his memo - which never explicitly advocated for firing Comey - as the linchpin for doing Comey in. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is still pushing for an independent commission to look into the Trump-Russia connections, even after Mr. Mueller's appointment was announced. The White House cited a letter from Rosenstein to the president advocating for Comey's dismissal over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. Depending on what Comey says, it could be his word against Trump's.

Trump's tweets signal his White House - or at least the man in charge - will try to resist Mueller's investigation, meaning the shadow of that probe will now hang over a White House in need of a morale boost.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the number-two Republican in the Senate and a member of its Intelligence committee, said after the briefing that he told Rosenstein he was anxious about the committees stepping on the FBI's toes. "It appears to me now to be considered a criminal investigation", Graham said. Rosenstein's "got the power to do it and you have to accept it and it doesn't matter what we think".



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