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Trump denies any collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation

19 May 2017

But they both agree former FBI Director Robert Mueller was the right choice serve as special counsel into possible meddling by Russian Federation in the recent president election. Mueller will have sweeping powers and the authority to prosecute any crimes he uncovers.

The Wednesday decision to name former FBI Director Robert Mueller, an apolitical outsider, to oversee the case seemed meant to restore public faith in an independent Justice Department following a series of headache-inducing headlines.

A day after appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead the independent probe, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appeared behind closed doors before the full Senate.

Rosenstein briefed senators on Thursday, but made no public comments.

"This was a very good first step".

Rosenstein said that he and Attorney General Jeff Sessions had "discussed the need for new leadership at the FBI" in one of their first meetings, and that he believed Comey had damaged the credibility of the bureau and the Justice Department through the Clinton case.

"The commission brings an independent body completely removed from political considerations to give the public the confidence to know that body will follow the facts wherever they may lead", Schiff said.

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Mr Trump clearly knew what he wanted to say as he took a few questions at a news briefing with visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

Trump has been dismissive of the seriousness of accusations he has made against others, including when he alleged without evidence that President Obama had wiretapped the phones in Trump Tower, an act that would have been illegal. The Justice Department on May 17, 2017, appointed Mueller as a special counsel to over. Remember that Republican Richard Nixon resigned from office in 1974 with the knowledge that a Democrat-controlled House and Senate would nearly certainly have bounced him from office if given the chance.

Trump sent shockwaves across Washington last week by unceremoniously sacking his FBI director - a virtually unprecedented move that came as James Comey was heading an investigation into Team Trump's links to Russian Federation.

The selection of Mueller, a taciturn former federal prosecutor who led the FBI through the September 11 attacks, received bipartisan embrace. A former federal prosecutor who served under presidential administrations of both parties and became director days before the attacks, Mueller was so valued that President Barack Obama asked him to stay on two years longer than his 10-year term.

Mueller is the rare figure in Washington who is seen as being largely above partisan politics.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said he was supportive of investigations in Congress but expressed concern about the "proliferation" of hearings.

Senators said that Rosenstein steered clear of specifics while making clear that Mueller has wide latitude to pursue the investigation wherever it leads, including potentially criminal charges.

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Congress will continue to carry out their own investigations.

Despite initially opposing appointment of an independent counsel, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that the development "helps assure people and the Justice Department that they're going to go do their jobs independently and thoroughly, which is what we've called for all along".

The latest political storm, coupled with the still-potent fallout from Trump's recent disclosure of classified information to Russian diplomats at the White House, has overshadowed all else in the capital and beyond.

At the same time, congressional committees are continuing their own investigations, leading to some turf warfare and sniping as the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee both sought to lay claim to testimony from Comey, while the House Oversight Committee also hoped to hear from the former director.

"I was very, very pleased, first that he was appointed, and second that it was Bob Mueller, who is a terrific guy with unimpeachable integrity", said Rep. Jim Hines, a Democrat from CT.

"The need for former Director Comey to come testify in public soon is as great as ever", said the Senate's top Democrat, Chuck Schumer of NY. Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman was seen as the front-runner.

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