Trump fires at deputy attorney general

Greg Nash

President Trump lashed out on Twitter Friday at reports he is under investigation for obstruction of justice, firing a salvo that seemed to be directed at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Trump said he was “being investigated” for firing FBI Director James Comey “by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director,” an apparent reference to Rosenstein.
The tweet was one of several sent by Trump early Friday morning. He concluded the investigation tweet with the comment: “Witch Hunt.”

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.

Trump’s tweet came just hours after Rosenstein issued an unusual statement decrying complaining about leaks in the probe. 
“Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country – let alone the branch or agency of government – with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated,” the deputy attorney general said late Thursday. 
Trump’s tweet was the latest in a series of messages blasting the Russia investigation. His attacks on the probe, and those running, came as he called for unity in the aftermath of a shooting at a congressional baseball practice this week. 
“After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my ‘collusion with the Russians,’ nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!” Trump said in one message. 
He also ripped the news media, claiming it despises his use of Twitter. 
“The Fake News Media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful Social Media – over 100 million people! I can go around them,” he tweeted. 
As the score of the Russia investigation has widened under Mueller, Trump has repeatedly used the social media platform to push back and insist that his agenda is on track. 
“Despite the phony Witch Hunt going on in America, the economic & jobs numbers are great. Regulations way down, jobs and enthusiasm way up!” he tweeted. 
This story was updated at 1:24 p.m. 
Tags Dianne Feinstein Hillary Clinton Jeff Sessions

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