Trump fires at deputy attorney general
I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
The president’s tweet had the appearance of confirming he is under federal investigation for possible obstruction of justice, though it’s not clear what the president has been told.
But what really captured attention was the apparent criticism of Rosenstein, who appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel on the Russian investigation a week after Comey’s firing.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, seized on the tweet as evidence that Trump might be considering removing Rosenstein.
“I’m growing increasingly concerned that the president will attempt to fire not only Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible obstruction of justice, but also Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein who appointed Mueller,” she said in a statement.
“The message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn’t apply to him and that anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired. That’s undemocratic on its face and a blatant violation of the president’s oath of office.
It comes at the end of another tumultuous week for Trump, who has repeatedly criticized the investigation.
News reports this week suggested that Mueller is probing Trump’s firing of Comey.
Separate reports say Trump has considered firing Mueller, a move Republican lawmakers have nearly unanimously suggested he avoid.
Trump allies have publicly criticized Mueller, noting his long working relationship with Comey and raising questions about his objectivity.
Trump cannot directly fire Mueller, who would have to be removed by the deputy attorney general. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already recused himself from the Russia probe.
Rosenstein this week offered a show of support for Mueller, telling a congressional panel he would be allowed to run an independent investigation.
On Friday, ABC News reported that Rosenstein might recuse himself from the Russia probe.
Rosenstein penned a memo last month raising concerns about Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation that the White House used to justify his firing.
If Mueller is considering Comey’s firing as part of an obstruction of justice investigation, Rosenstein might be compromised by his memo.
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