Madigan among 20 attorneys general calling for special council in Russian interference
10:25, May 12, 2017
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Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has not said what he may do, but he told senators during his confirmation hearing that he would make the decision based on his principals. And let's be clear about this, in the president's letter to James Comey, he referenced the Russian Federation investigation.
Comey was supposed to testify Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the presidential election and possible collusion by Trump associates.
"You've seen already the extent to which state AGs are working together, are in regular communication about what is happening", Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who wrote the first draft of the letter, tells Newsweek.
The move ignited a political furor, with Democrats and other Trump critics suggesting that it was created to impede the FBI's investigation and questions about whether Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians. "And it's now clearer than ever that we need an independent investigation into Trump's ties to Russian Federation".
Harris said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's memo did not provide a real case for President Donald Trump firing FBI Director James Comey.
She also said that "I am not aware" of reports that he threatened to resign over the manner in which Comey's dismissal was attributed in part to the memo he wrote. "I worry that they'll refuse the special prosecutor, and we'll never hear again from the FBI investigation".
Even after the news of Lynch's tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton in Phoenix broke, Lynch not only dismissed calls for a special counsel, she refused to fully recuse herself from any decision to prosecute.
Democratic lawmakers joined the state attorneys general in pressing for an independent prosecutor, arguing this would take politics out of the probe.
"I request that you expand the scope of your office's ongoing review of allegations regarding certain actions by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in advance of the 2016 election to include the facts and circumstances surrounding the removal of Director Comey", Chaffetz wrote in a letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Following the meeting, Warner said he "still has concerns" about Rosenstein, while Burr refused to say whether he has confidence in Rosenstein to oversee the Justice Department's Russia-related investigations.
Gansler said it appears that the moment Trump "found out that Comey had escalated the investigation was the moment that he fired the very man investigating him". The identity of the person would remain confidential.
One thing Rosenstein can do prior to appointing a special counsel is to order the Justice Department to determine whether the appointment of a special counsel would be appropriate. Yet Sessions now claims to believe Comey's behavior was so egregious that "a fresh start is needed at the leadership of the FBI" so that the Justice Department can "reaffirm its commitment to longstanding principles that ensure the integrity and fairness of federal investigations and prosecutions".
Comey was shown the door yesterday by President Trump.