Citing Rosenstein's private remarks, ABC News reported that he may have to recuse himself from the investigation, potentially following in the footsteps of Attorney General Jeff Sessions who did so in early March in a move that continues to vex the American president.
The development comes a day after the daily reported that Mueller had extended his probe into determining whether the President tried to obstruct justice by suggesting to top intelligence and law enforcement officials that they end the Russian Federation investigation. The Comey dismissal could become part of a widening investigation into whether the President tried to interfere with the ongoing Russian Federation probe. But a department official said no one asked for the statement and Rosenstein acted on his own.
Mr Mueller was appointed as special counsel to investigate Moscow's involvement in the presidential election a year ago and possible collusion by Trump campaign associates with the Russians, but there has been no indication that Mr Mueller told the president to fire Mr Comey. The first time he told Trump was in his first meeting with the president before the inauguration on January 6. Though some in the White House have preached caution, fearing a repeat of the firestorm over Comey's firing, many in Trump's orbit - including his son Donald Trump Jr. and adviser Newt Gingrich - have deemed Mueller biased and worthy of dismissal. Trump had viewed Sessions' recusal as unnecessary, even though Justice Department regulations made it nearly impossible to avoid. Trump tweeted yesterday. "Witch Hunt".
He has told his staff, his visitors and his outside advisers that he was increasingly convinced that Mr. Mueller, like Mr. Comey, his successor as director of the F.B.I., was part of a "witch hunt" by partisans who wanted to see him weakened or forced from office. "Nice", the President tweeted.
Kushner and other Trump business associates are being looked at in the investigation, according to a new report.
Malcolm, who worked for Trump's FBI director pick, Chris Wray, when Wray was head of the DOJ's criminal division, spoke after a Washington Post report said Mueller's investigation has now widened to determine whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice. But Rosenstein, too, may ultimately have to hand off oversight given his role in Trump's decision to fire Comey.
Rosenstein earlier this month confirmed he had the ultimate authority to hire or fire Mueller, but said he has been given a wide berth to conduct the probe.
The New York Times reports that Trump has been mulling over the idea of firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller since he was first appointed, but that his senior staff has so far managed to talk him out of doing it on the basis of the political fallout if he did. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the investigators were looking into possible obstruction of justice.
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