The complex issues of the Russian Federation probe, special counsel


Rosenstein threatened to resign after the White House cast him as a prime mover of the decision to fire Comey and suggested the president acted only on his recommendation, a person close to the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told The Post last month. Trump on Friday said the person conducting that probe was the individual who had told him to dismiss James Comey, who had been at the head of the bureau from 2013 until he was sacked early last month.

The US president admitted that he is under federal investigation in a Twitter post, writing: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! If that happens Mike PenceMike (Michael) Richard PenceEx-Bush ethics lawyer: Pence will soon become the president if Trump fires Mueller It's time for Mike Pence to come clean Dem: Trump has "incredible emphasis on jobs, jobs, jobs" - for lawyers MORE will soon become the 46th President", former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter wrote on Twitter.

But Rosenstein could end up recusing himself, too, Justice officials say, in part because he played a role in President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.

There were several unconfirmed press reports Friday, citing unnamed sources in the Justice Department, that Rosenstein was preparing to recuse himself.

"The president is not and has not been under investigation." he said.

Any of these alternatives would have the same outcome: decision-making authority over Mueller and the Russian Federation investigation would pass into the hands of the third-ranking official in the Department of Justice, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, a former Bush administration official who later served as chief counsel for the US Chamber of Commerce.

She also echoed concern that the president will try to fire Mueller and Rosenstein.

Trump's thinly veiled attack on Rosenstein could be a precursor either to Trump demanding that Rosenstein fire Mueller-which he would likely refuse-or Trump's firing Rosenstein himself. Eight days after Trump fired Comey, Rosenstein named Mueller special prosecutor, giving him significant independent resources to continue the Russian Federation investigation. An official of Trump's transition confirmed the lawyer's internal order, which was sent Thursday.

Among its other points, the memo also orders that any records be preserved about foreign travel by transition officials or personnel of Trump's presidential campaign.

Mr Cohen has worked for Mr Trump since the mid-2000s and was active in the campaign.

Representative Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, warned that Trump would be overstepping his authority by taking such action.