Trump says no proof on 'collusion' with Russians

On Friday, during one of his typical morning Twitter kvetch fests, Donald Trump shared with his near-30 million followers (okay, maybe 15 million) that this week's report in The Washington Post was factually correct: The president of the United States is under criminal investigation for the firing of FBI director James Comey.

Trump also attacked the media Friday morning.

But as the legal rope has tightened, his allies have gone on the offensive, questioning the credibility of the special investigator Mueller, a respected former Federal Bureau of Investigation director who served under Republican president George W. Bush.

Before the day ended, the White House was hit with the latest in a series of headlines relating to the Russian probe: a Post story reporting that Mueller is investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, Trump's son-law and adviser.

President Trump can not directly fire the special counsel.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Senate Intelligence Committee member, said she was "increasingly concerned" Trump would try to fire not only Mueller, but also Rosenstein.

The panel is conducting both open hearings and closed sessions as it investigates Russian efforts to influence last year's campaign. The bottom line is that the investigation must proceed; it must proceed under the leadership of Robert Mueller and it must proceed without any interference or obstruction from Trump or his team. The number has now reached a dozen, with more on the way, Carr told the Times. Trump also bragged to visiting Russian diplomats that getting rid of Comey relieved him of "great pressure because of Russia". If Rosenstein were out of the picture, responsibility for overseeing Mueller's investigation - and deciding his fate - would fall to Rachel Brand, the department's associate attorney general. That had not happened as of Friday afternoon, but the possibility remains. Rosenstein, the official who would be responsible for dismissing Mueller, told USA lawmakers he would fire him only with good cause.

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Mueller is investigating Russian interference in USA elections and possible Russian ties to the Trump campaign. "The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations", Rosenstein's full statement read.

While Burt has not played a central role in the FBI and congressional investigation, Sessions' response about his dealings with American lobbyists - which appears to contradict previous reports that Burt and Sessions communicated during the campaign - could invite more scrutiny of the attorney general's testimony. Pence's office confirmed he had retained Richard Cullen, a former Virginia attorney general and USA attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to assist "in responding to inquiries" from Mueller.

In early March, Attorney General Sessions recused himself - and seemed awfully proud of himself ("I followed the procedures!") - from all probes involving Russian Federation.

There has been no indication that Mueller told Trump to fire Comey. What is clear is that he could order the Justice Department to ax Mueller, which may result in Rosenstein's departure and would certainly intensify the uproar over the investigation. But that doesn't appear to violate any ethics rules, either, Slansky said. "There is too much cross-pollination between his background and that of James Comey".

'It would be standard practice for the Special Counsel to examine financial records to look for anything related to Russian Federation. Trump wrote on Twitter, apparently referring to his Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Trump also trained his fire on his onetime rival Hillary Clinton.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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