Rosenstein May Be Using a Legal Technicality to Protect the Russia Probe

Florida Gov. Rick Scott holds a Senate campaign rally at the Interstate Beverage Corp. in Hialeah Fla. on April 10

Florida Gov. Rick Scott holds a Senate campaign rally at the Interstate Beverage Corp. in Hialeah Fla. on April 10

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's interest in former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort stemmed in part from his suspected role as a "back channel" between the campaign and Russians intent on meddling in the election, a Justice Department lawyer told a judge.

But Mr. Rosenstein is said to have reassured the president that he is not the focus of the probe, media outlets including CNN and Fox News reported late Thursday.

After the meeting, Trump told some of his closest advisers it's not the right time to remove either man because he's not a target of the probes.

At the same time, House Republicans were threatening Rosenstein with contempt of Congress and potential impeachment for withholding Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation documents that were requested in August. Last week's meeting was set up in part to allow Rosenstein to assuage Trump's frustration with his decisions.

"Rosenstein's message may have been based on a technicality". Manafort's legal team has also said that Mueller has exceeded the authority he has been given by Rosenstein in the investigation.

"There is a belief that President Trump will soon move to fire Special Prosecutor Mueller".

"They've been saying I'm going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months", Trump told reporters. "And they're still here".

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"I don't know how they can violate these regulations and we can still be here and it doesn't matter", Downing said at the hearing.

One of the more freakish and eye-catching parts of the newly released memos former FBI Director James Comey wrote after his conversations with President Trump is a comment Trump reportedly made at a February 8, 2017, meeting in the Oval Office.

President Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing related to the investigation. A target is someone on whom the investigation, the grand jury has developed ... evidence sufficient to charge. But that was before the raids on Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's home, office and hotel room.

Dreeben argued that the Justice Department shouldn't have to produce documentation of those early talks about the investigation's scope that occurred before Rosenstein's August 2 memo. Rosenstein was the one to raise the issue, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg may have buried the lead when it comes to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein telling President Trump he wasn't a target of the Russian Federation investigation.

On Wednesday during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minster Shinzō Abe in Florida, Trump was asked point-blank if he had decided what to do with Rosenstein and Mueller.

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