Trump targets deputy AG in tweet

Frederick Owens
June 19, 2017

Washington D.C. [USA], June 17: Some critics of U.S. President Donald Trump have expressed fear that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein could be fired after the former's tirade apparently against the latter on Twitter, according to the Washington Post. But it was Rosenstein who later appointed Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the investigation into Russia's election meddling and any possible ties to the Trump campaign.

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.

Democrats and Republicans alike decried President Trump's tweet about the Russian Federation investigation on Capitol Hill Friday.

While the Republican Trump administration initially said Mr Rosenstein's letter was the reason the president fired Mr Comey on May 9, Mr Trump later said he did so because of the "Russia thing". Now there's some question of whether President Trump wants to fire Mueller.

INSKEEP: OK, so let's just remember The Washington Post reported that the president is under investigation by the special counsel for the possibility of obstruction of justice in the Russian Federation investigation. Mueller was appointed under a rarely used regulation that gives him a broad mandate to investigate just about anything he feels is necessary, which could ultimately include Rosenstein's role in Comey's firing.

"If the president thinks he can fire Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and replace him with someone who will shut down the investigation, he's in for a rude awakening", Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Friday.

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The Democratic National Committee, in a statement Friday, said that Rosenstein, who has authority over Mueller, needs to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation and that control of the investigation should not be given to another presidential appointee. He has already been subpoenaed by the House of Representatives intelligence committee.

Aides have counseled Mr Trump to stay off Twitter and focus on other aspects of his job.

Though some in the White House have preached caution, fearing a repeat of the firestorm over Mr Comey's sacking, many in Mr Trump's orbit, including his son Donald Jr and adviser Newt Gingrich, have deemed Mr Mueller biased and worthy of dismissal. Rosenstein, who would be responsible for actually dismissing Mueller, told USA lawmakers he would fire him only with good cause. The White House has not commented on this possibility.

"The President's response was as it related to the Washington Post report".

At the core of the allegation of obstruction of justice against Trump is his supposed abuse of executive power in using his position and influence to try to make officials in the US intelligence community drop the case against Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn with reference to the Trump campaign's Russian Federation connection.

Until now, the White House has been essentially silent on whether Trump was actually a target of a federal investigation. Mr Trump campaigned on a pledge to roll back Mr Obama's historic reform, which supporters said nudged Cuba towards political change by removing the "US threat" as an excuse for the status quo.

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