Senators: Deputy AG knew of Comey firing before writing memo

Following Rosenstein's testimony, a number of Senators came out to take about what happened in the closed-door meeting.

The White House pointed to Rosenstein's memo last week as justification for Trump's abrupt decision to dismiss Comey.

Durbin said there was frustration among some senators in the briefing because Rosenstein did not want to answer all their questions.

Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of MA echoed that sentiment, saying there was "considerable frustration" and that "he refused to answer a lot of questions".

Mueller is the man Rosenstein tapped Wednesday to head the U.S. Justice Department's investigation into whether anyone on Trump's campaign colluded with Russian operatives who sought to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

After Comey's firing, Rosenstein initially drew the ire of Democrats on Capitol Hill, but he seemed to have regained some good faith after his appointment of Mueller, a move Democrats had been almost unanimous in supporting.

The congressman said "Former Director Mueller is a well-respected law enforcement professional who served the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a dozen years under both the Democratic and Republican presidents". The goal of the special counsel probe, he said, was to determine whether there was collusion between Trump associates and Russian Federation to do so.

"There's only so much firing you can do", Krauthammer said.

Goodlatte said special counsel for Russian Federation investigation right move
Rosenstein fielded questions in the closed session for more than an hour, but many senators left the briefing unsatisfied. Tom Carper and Dick Durbin, both Democrats, and Sen.

"He's going to conduct a fair and thorough investigation, of that I have no doubt".

Aides to the Senate Intelligence Committee said it was negotiating with Mr Flynn himself to obtain documents relating to its own investigation.

One big historical difference in terms of the appointment of this special prosecutor is that it is coming so early in the Trump presidency. That's something that, perhaps inadvertently, Graham nodded to. "But we have to go back to running this country really, really well". John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he thought it was in nobody's interest to impede Mueller's investigation. "That is a train wreck waiting to happen".

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Penn., was one of many Democrats who left the meeting disappointed. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he is determined to press forward with public hearings.

"Director Comey was very unpopular with most people". "Nothing really has changed". Since leaving the bureau, he has played a role in some of the most significant, recent investigations outside of the government's scope. This week, news reports alleged that Trump had previously tried to pressure Comey into backing off inquiries into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump has denied the conversation took place.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Comey should still appear before congressional committees that have invited him to testify.

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