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Comey Testimony Before Lawmakers in Doubt After Special Counsel Named

Comey Testimony Before Lawmakers in Doubt After Special Counsel Named

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein knew President Trump planned to fire FBI Director Jim Comey before he sat down to write a memo criticizing Comey's conduct.

USA president Donald Trump has denied he asked former FBI director James Comey to halt an investigation into former national security adviser Mike Flynn, as he dismissed the appointment of a Special Counsel to oversee the investigation as a "witch-hunt".

According to senators who were present at the closed-door meeting, Mr Rosenstein confirmed that he had known that former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey was about to be fired before he wrote a memo setting out the rationale for his dismissal on May 9th.

"He knew that Comey was going to be removed prior to writing his memo", Sen.

Comey - whom Trump fired May 9 - wrote a memo memorializing a discussion with the president about Flynn and the FBI's investigation, two sources close to the former FBI director who had seen the memo confirmed to NPR.

"I think it was a mistake", Swecker said on "Squawk Box ," a day after Trump said he was the target of a "witch hunt" after the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Democratic senators were prepared to press Rosenstein in the closed-door session to appoint a special prosecutor and his decision instantly defused their complaints, leading to praise instead.

He leapt to make the point again at a joint news conference with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, describing the development as a distraction.

"What we all find unusual is that all of sudden he made a decision to put that in a memo and send it over the president", Cardin said.

But Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT, the only Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee who opposed Rosenstein's confirmation last month, said Rosenstein ought to make the same points he made to the senators in a public setting. But after news broke this week that Comey had put to paper that the president asked him to drop an FBI investigation of Michael Flynn, it's a question Congress is trying to answer.

Rosenstein's decision to name a special counsel seems to have helped redeem his reputation as a nonpartisan operative. "Mr. Rosenstein has done the right thing", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said Thursday on the Senate floor.

"As the president has stated before, a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity", Press Secretary Sean Spicer told the Post in a statement.

"Comey said that as he was walking across the room he was determined that there wasn't going to be a hug", Mr. Wittes said.

"I think people, generally speaking, would feel very confident in him and his decision making in relation to the special counsel", Sen.

Several committees in Congress have already requested documentation of Comey's notes about his conversations with Trump. Robert Mueller, a former FBI director highly respected by both parties, was named special counsel on Wednesday to oversee the investigation into what is becoming a hydra-like scandal absorbing increasing amounts of legislative time and energy.

"Congress' ability to conduct investigations of all things Russian Federation has been severely limited", said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC.

He also flatly denied he had asked the country's top law-enforcement officer, Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, to shut down a portion of the Russian Federation investigation in February.

"It was a counterintelligence investigation before now".

Asked if he pressured Comey to halt the Flynn probe, Trump said: "No, no".