Trump acknowledges for first time he's under investigation

Marsha Scott
June 18, 2017

Tensions are building inside the Justice Department as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein contemplates whether he will become a witness in the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections. The Comey dismissal could become part of a widening investigation into whether the President tried to interfere with the ongoing Russian Federation probe.

Whether Trump has thought it through or not, that will leave Rosenstein's supervisory obligations in the hands of Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.

"As the deputy attorney general has said numerous times, if there comes a point when he needs to recuse, he will", Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement.

Rosenstein could have asserted that although the regulations allow the attorney general (here Rosenstein because of Jeff Sessions's recusal) to ask for explanations of the special counsel's investigative process, and require periodic reports from the special counsel to the attorney general, he wasn't going to be supervising Mueller's investigation.

Others have pointed to news that Mueller interviewed with Trump for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director post after Comey's firing.

Rosenstein addressed dealing with political considerations around investigations during an interview with ABC2 News in Baltimore earlier this year, arguing that "it is not difficult" for him to separate politics and the way he prosecutes cases. It was unclear whether his tweet about being under investigation was based on direct knowledge or new media reports that suggest Mueller is examining whether the president obstructed justice by firing Comey. The attorney general was at a White House meeting when the notification came from Rosenstein, prompting the enraged President to scold the attorney general for the turn of events.

So Rosenstein will have to recuse himself. He said the president "sought my advice and input" on Comey's firing.

In the statement, Rosenstein wrote that "Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials, ' particularly when they do not identify the country - let alone the branch or agency of government - with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated". Trump said on Twitter.

After Boente, the responsibility would fall to the US attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina and then the USA attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

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Lieu isn't the only House Democrat warning Trump of consequences for firing Mueller and Rosenstein. Rep.

His time under Bush, Obama and then Trump made him the longest-serving USA attorney in the nation's history when he was confirmed to his current role under Sessions.

"A special counsel investigating the president of the United States must first and foremost be beyond the question of conflict", he said. Rosenstein told The Associated Press this month he would recuse himself from any oversight of Mueller if he were to become a subject of the probe.

Finally, the thrust of Trump's tweet is misleading. And that leaves Brand as the next highest Senate-confirmed official in the Department of Justice.

Among its other points, the memo also orders that any records be preserved about foreign travel by transition officials or personnel of Trump's presidential campaign.

Vice-President Mike Pence has also hired a private lawyer to represent his interests in the expanding probe.

Pence had taken over the transition team from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

At least one of the memos Comey wrote is classified, a fact that he admitted during testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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