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19 Junio 2017, 08:02 | Crisanna Felipe
Good help is so hard to find these days. That falls to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who was asked this by Republican senator from Maine Susan Collins at a hearing on Tuesday. In Congressional testimony last month, Rosenstein said his memo was never meant to be such a recommendation.
James Comey, who was sacked by Trump last month, publicly testified this month that Trump had told him to ease off on his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was under the FBI investigation for his Russian links. Attorney general Jeff Sessions then held up that memo to justify Comey's firing.
Trump said in an interview with NBC News that he would have fired Comey even without Rosenstein's memo.
Rosenstein was not pleased by this.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that the special investigation is being led by another former FBI director.
While aides have advised Trump to stay off Twitter, the president continued to weigh in on the widening legal investigations Sunday.
Trump has also reportedly considered firing Mueller, but the entirety of his White House cabinet and staff heavily advised against it.
So, that's one part of the case for believing Trump is referring to Rosenstein here.
ABC Newsreported Friday that Rosenstein has privately acknowledged he may need to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation but has yet to seek a formal opinion on the matter.
'It's a very weird and peculiar thing for a one-on-one conversation without the attorney general, without warning between the president and me or any United States attorney who has been asked to investigate various things and is in a position hypothetically to investigate business interests and associates of the President'.
Lawmakers and others have raised questions about whether it is appropriate for Rosenstein to oversee the special counsel as it now explores whether the president obstructed justice. Any serious contemplation of recusal likely wouldn't happen unless Rosenstein seeks such an opinion. In that capacity, Rosenstein has the power to determine what resources and personnell Mueller has at his disposal - and, ultimately, whether or not the Justice Department pursues prosecutions on the basis of his findings. "That combination of things I had never experienced before, but it led me to believe I gotta write it down and I gotta write it down in a detailed way", he said, adding, "I knew there might come a day where I might need a record to defend not just myself but the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and our integrity". And I am required to put that cause in writing. Now there's some question of whether President Trump wants to fire Mueller.
Unless, that is, Rosenstein sidelines himself.
"That is a great, great team of complete professionals, so let's let him do his job", former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who investigated President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, told ABC News.
One variable that could impact the investigation is if Rosenstein recused himself, due to his involvement in the firing of Comey. Any idea why Rosenstein would take that unusual step?
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