Special counsel investigation expands to trump aides
Paul Manafort and other trump aides, are now under investigation by the special counsel charged with digging into the ties between Trump and Russia. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein might be next as the investigation reportedly expands to include their role in firing FBI Director James Comey.
According to reports,Trump, in the oval office, told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (The Russian Spymaker) and ambassador Sergey Kislyak that Comey was a ‘nutjob’ and his dismissal took the heat off him. The Department of Justice appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to head the investigation into potential Trump ties to Russia after Comey was fired. That raised questions about Trump’s possible Obstruction of Justice. Deputy AG Rosenstein says, if asked, he’ll stand down from any oversight associated with Meuller’s investigation.
“I’ve talked with Director Mueller about this and if anything that I did winds up being relevant to his investigation then, as Director Mueller and I discussed, if there’s a need from me to recuse, I will.”
Obstruction of Justice was the same charge cited in the impeachments of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Critics argue Trump’s behavior and circuitous connection to Russia constitute the same crime. Texas Democrat Congressman Al Green says all signs point to that.
“This is not something I wanted to do. It’s not something I looked forward to doing, But when I put it all together on paper, it sure looked like he committed an obstruction of justice”.
Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager until August when Steve Bannon took over. He resigned and was replaced after information surfaced that he had connections to the pro-Russia government in Kiev, Ukraine that was overthrown in 2014. Manafort has denied allegations he had any inappropriate communication with Russian intelligence.
Mueller is also reportedly taking over a grand jury investigation into Trump’s disgraced National Security Adviser Michael Flynn,who only lasted 24 days on the job. Flynn is accused of intentionally misleading Vice President Mike Pence during his vetting about connections to Russia and Turkey.
This week is set to be a decisive one for the Trump Administration which has been trying, unsuccessfully, to get out from under the blight of Russian entanglement. On June 8th Former FBI Director James Comey is set to testify to congress in his first public appearance since his termination. The Trump Administration continues to deny any collusion with Russia.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Image
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