Trump claims 'witch hunt'; GOP puts hope in special counsel

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She added that Rosenstein declined to provide details about Comey's dismissal because she said Rosenstein is anxious to give wide latitude to former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who Rosenstein appointed as special counsel Wednesday to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 us election. By afternoon, however, Graham uttered an interesting shift in thinking to the press, as evidenced at the end of the above CNN clip: "It seems to me now to be considered a criminal investigation".

On Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be the special counsel.

Comey has been invited to testify before Congress next week, but his appearance at an open hearing might be in jeopardy due to the appointment of a special counsel, Graham said.

The rest of the House leadership and rank-and-file members were in the dark, but a Justice Department official did reach out directly to Speaker Paul Ryan shortly before the announcement to let him know of the special counsel appointment, according to a Republican official. "And that's probably the way it should be", he continued. "Because you look at all of the people on the Democratic side, not only the Republican side, that were saying such awful things about Director Comey". The move has received praise from both Republicans and Democrats.

He claimed it was evidence the U.S. was "a divided, mixed-up, not unified country" and is "a very, very negative thing". "In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country".

Republican Jason Chaffetz of Utah, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Mueller was a "great selection". In November, shortly after winning the election, he called another off-the-record private gathering for top TV executives and anchors at Trump Tower.

The focus now turns to how Mueller will pick up the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, and what it means for the White House. Look the way I've been treated lately, especially by the media.

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McCaskill said he would have "complete discretion to take the investigation" where it needs to go.

The White House has disputed Comey's account of his February conversation with Trump concerning Flynn but has not offered specifics.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein knew President Trump planned to fire FBI Director Jim Comey before he sat down to write a memo criticizing Comey's conduct.

But Trump himself has already said that he was going to fire Comey regardless of any recommendation by the Justice Department.

When asked, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, would not confirm Graham's comments. Durbin said Rosenstein learned on May 8. He serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is investigating Russian meddling in the USA election.

The naming of Mueller represents a threat to the White House because he will be armed with sweeping powers, including the right to subpoena documents or interview the President as he builds a case centered on the question of whether anyone in Trump's circle colluded with the Russians to influence the course of the election or committed any crimes.

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