"We have a very divided country because of that and many other things", Trump said. He also told them that he was not pressured into writing his memo.
And he repeated his surprise that his decision to fire Comey was met with such an uproar.
The day after Rosenstein appointed a special counsel to investigate possible coordination between Trump's associates and Russian officials, he appeared before the Senate on Thursday afternoon to brief senators in a closed session.
The question is whether President Trump's alleged request to Comey to let go of the Flynn investigation, or any other negative action or statement by the president with regard to the Russian Federation investigation, constitutes actionable obstruction of justice.
Since Comey's firing on May 9, the calls for Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel intensified, especially from Democratic lawmakers who believed he could no longer be impartial in the Russian Federation investigation, given his role in the firing.
"After my 10th day on my new job in Washington, DC, a friend sent me a text message that said, 'You need to get out of there!"' Rosenstein said. Maybe so, but Mr. Mueller's appointment, which provides the Democrats and anti-Trump media the independent special counsel they have demanded, will give the Trump administration at least some breathing room to return to its policy agenda. The appointment was like a sucker punch for President Donald Trump as he had no idea about it. Hours after the appointment, he tweeted that it was a witch hunt.
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It sounds alarming, but it's true: "lives are at stake", said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, according Reuters reported. They want the court to temporarily lift the current order that holds the case in abeyance so that it can consider their motion.
"With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel (sic) appointed!"
Mr Trump had earlier in the morning lashed out on Twitter at the news of the special prosecutor, calling the move a politically motivated "witch hunt" by his Democratic rivals. This Wall Street Journal editorial contends that Rosenstein did no favor to anyone other than the Democrats and their allies.
The Senate Intelligence Committee and House Government Oversight Committee have each requested Comey testify before their panels. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Thursday. "I also got a very, very strong recommendation, as you know, from the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein".
Rosenstein may have been asked about his decision to open an independent investigation, as well as the circumstances surrounding the memo he wrote about Comey. He's departing having fervently denied that his campaign had collaborated with Russian Federation or that he'd tried to kill an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of the issue - and claiming to be the most hounded president in history. "And until it's clear it's not going to be, he doesn't want to start muddying up the waters for the Mueller investigation". To that end, the separate probes under way in House and Senate committees should be suspended while Mueller tries to bring an objective eye to this essential investigation.
It is certainly possible that during the course of Mr. Mueller's investigation his investigators will turn up tapes, documents or witnesses clearly establishing President Trump's criminal state of mind. If Comey thought that the president was committing obstruction of justice by trying to pressure him into dropping the Flynn investigation for improper reasons, Comey had a legal duty to immediately report his suspicion to the Department of Justice.
Rosenstein is scheduled to address the House of Representatives on Friday. That telling cast Rosenstein as the prime person behind the decision to fire Comey, even though Trump later stated that he already had chose to termination the director before asking Rosenstein for the memo.
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