Graham believes Russian Federation probe 'considered a criminal investigation'

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Sen. Claire McCaskill disagrees with fellow Democrats who have called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, saying that it's too early to even consider it.

"He learned the president's decision to fire him and then he wrote his memo with his rationale", Durbin said.

Two days later, in a May 11 interview with NBC, Trump contradicted his own spokesmen and said he'd chose to fire Comey "regardless of the recommendation" of Rosenstein.

His tweets undercut the more measured official statement that the White House had issued the night before and illustrated the degree to which the investigation may distract and damage his presidency. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in asking the Justice Department's inspector general to probe if Attorney General Jeff Sessions was improperly involved in Comey's firing after Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation.

Last week, Trump generated a firestorm of criticism by firing FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the Russian Federation investigation.

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Robert Mueller, 72, has got a serious job ahead of him as the newly appointed special counsel (aka prosecutor) that will "oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, and related matters". The others were former Connecticut Sen. "A criminal investigation might", said Sen. Lawmakers will have to be "leery of crossing into Mr. Mueller's lane" by seeking information from people facing possible criminal liability, the senator said. But Rubio differed with Graham on whether Mueller's investigation would hinder ongoing probes into the matter by the Senate and House intelligence committees. If they don't, Pilon added, Mueller "will not be inclined to make his findings public, as with any other investigation of a criminal sort". "So one of the big losers in this decision is the public", Graham said. Trump tweeted Thursday that he's facing "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Rosenstein has publicly denied being conscious of his reputation, telling a Baltimore business group this week: "I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States".

In a pair of Twitter posts on Thursday morning (local time), Mr Trump made clear he was unhappy with the latest development to roil his administration. "And the need for former Director Comey to come testify in public soon is as great as ever. I am on a fact-finding mission", he said on CNN. After the briefing, California Democrat Kamala Harris was asked if Rosenstein's integrity was compromised by writing the memo after he knew Comey would be fired.

Yet a special counsel appointment increasingly seemed the only viable option, particularly following this week's revelation that Comey took notes on a February meeting with Trump in which he said the president had asked him to shut down an investigation into Michael Flynn, the administration's former national security adviser.

Rosenstein threatened to resign from the Justice Department because of the explanation that White House officials were giving reporters about the firing, said the person close to the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Tennessee senator did not elaborate further on Rosenstein's briefing of senators.