Donald Trump confirms obstruction of justice probe, claiming 'witch hunt'

Jun 18, 2017, 01:27
Donald Trump confirms obstruction of justice probe, claiming 'witch hunt'

Donald Trump has acknowledged for the first time that he is being investigated for sacking Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey during the probe into Russia's election meddling - and lashed out at the Justice Department chief overseeing the inquiry.

It was unclear whether his tweet about being under investigation was based on direct knowledge or new media reports that suggest Mr Mueller is examining whether the president obstructed justice by firing Mr Comey.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is also investigating the ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, said she was "increasingly concerned" Trump would try to fire not only Mueller, but also the man who appointed him, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"FBI director" James Comey in a tweet Friday morning, once again calling the investigation a "witch hunt".

"If President Trump were to try to replicate Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre by firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in addition to Mueller, Congress must unite to stop him - without respect to party, and for the sake of the nation", he continued.

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President Trump is tweeting his displeasure with the direction of the Russian Federation probe, which reportedly is now veering into an obstruction of justice investigation. A day later, Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, to say he thinks Trump should stop tweeting.

The president did not directly address allegations that he is being probed for possibly obstructing justice-a potentially impeachable offence. "I can go around them", the tweet read.

Comey told a Senate panel last week he believed Trump fired him to undermine the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Russian Federation probe. "Regulations way down, jobs and enthusiasm way up!", Trump tweeted.

Trump has described these reports as "fake news" and the investigations as a "witch hunt".

Mr Pence's office confirmed he had retained Richard Cullen, a former Virginia Attorney-General and USA attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to assist "in responding to inquiries" from Mr Mueller.

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Those who have agreed to be interviewed include: Dan Coats, director of national intelligence; Mike Rogers, chief of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, who recently left his post as deputy to Rogers.

When Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey last month, he initially cited a memo written by Rosenstein as the basis for the dismissal.

Mr Comey gave evidence last week that he also felt pressured to drop the Flynn probe.

Secondly, she writes, Comey must testify before the Judiciary panel "regarding serious concerns that have been raised about political interference with FBI investigations and possible obstruction of justice".

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