Trump transition team ordered to save materials on Russia, Ukraine

Donald Trump

Mr. Mueller was appointed as special counsel to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential election and possible collusion by Trump campaign associates with the Russians, but there has been no indication that Mr. Mueller told Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Comey.

The morning missive appeared to refer to Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general.

Trump said he was "being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!" Rosenstein in a memo to Trump raised concerns over FBI Director James Comey.

Mr Comey told Congress last week he believed he was sacked by Mr Trump to undermine the agency's Russian Federation probe.

Rosenstein has been overseeing the Russian Federation probe since shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.

"He brought that recommendation to the President" and Trump agreed, Pence concluded.

He's increasingly focused his anger at both Rosenstein and Mueller, according to advisers and confidants, viewing the two as part of a biased effort to undermine his presidency.

The high-profile team of leading investigators and experts includes a number of well-seasoned attorneys that have taken on other top cases such as Watergate and the Enron fraud scandal. "No confusion. The president is not under investigation", Sekulow told Tapper. Rosenstein issued a statement expressing confidence in Mueller. That had not happened as of Friday afternoon, but the possibility remains. He was also given the authority to investigate obstruction. Although that's not the rationale that Trump himself said actually explained the firing. At least 13 lawyers have joined a legal team led by special counsel Mueller to tackle the Russian Federation investigation, according to spokesman Peter Carr.

The tweet on Friday was the first official confirmation by Trump that he himself is under investigation. "The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations".

That would be unsettling for a Justice Department where many top positions remain unfilled.

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As special counsel, Mr. Mueller will report to the Justice Department and determine whether or not crimes were committed. If the dominos continue to fall, one of five assistant attorneys general or the solicitor general would assume the role. Pence's office confirmed he had retained Richard Cullen, a former Virginia attorney general and US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to assist "in responding to inquiries" from Mueller. Someone else would have to fill that role.

In the recent meeting with Brand, Rosenstein told her that if he were to recuse himself, she would have to step in and take over those responsibilities.

The memo also orders transition team members to preserve any records of foreign travel by transition officials or Trump campaign officials.

There is also no rule barring such donations, said David Alan Sklansky, a criminal procedure professor at Stanford University.

If Trump were to fire Mueller and Rosenstein, "Congress must unite to stop him, without respect to party, and for the sake of the nation", Schiff said in a statement. "Everybody across the board has unequivocally said, "This guy is a man of upstanding character" and essentially the gold standard at the Department of Justice". At the time of that report it was not clear that the FBI was investigating Kushner's business dealings.

Rosenstein is keenly aware that he could become a potential witness in the investigation. Robert Mueller is not that person.

Kind of. Allegations of commingling between politics and law enforcement are age-old and standard, even when there's not a special counsel. Another attorney on the team was the leader of the Enron investigation, Andrew Weissman.

Associated Press writers Vivian Salama and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

Rosenstein named Mueller as special counsel last month to lead the inquiry into Russia's meddling in last year's USA presidential campaign and whether anyone close to Trump colluded in that effort.

When President Barack Obama entered office, Rosenstein was asked to stay on and served for all eight years of the president's term.

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