The Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has stepped forward to act with courage to appoint a “Special Counsel” to oversee the FBI investigation into the Trump/ Russia saga. After Mr. Rosenstein had his name used erroneously as the pretext for the republican President Donald Trump to fire the FBI Director James Comey on (5/9/17), there were calls for him to take this action. Originally, Mr. Rosenstein had indicated that the appointment of a “special prosecutor/ counsel was probably not necessary, but fortunately, he has changed his mind.
Here is the rest of the story…
ON 5/17/17, Devlin Barrett, Sari Horwitz and Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post penned the following article, “Deputy attorney general appoints special counsel to oversee probe of Russian interference in election.”
“The Justice Department has decided to appoint a special counsel to investigate possible coordination between Trump associates and Russian officials seeking to meddle in last year’s election, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.”
“Robert Mueller, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, has agreed to serve in the role, Rosenstein said. The move marks a concession by the Trump administration to Democratic demands for the investigation to be run independently of the Justice Department. Calls for a special counsel have increased since Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey last week.”
“In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter,’’ Rosenstein said in a statement. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.’’
“Rosenstein is overseeing the Russia probe after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself. Democrats have challenged Rosenstein’s impartiality in the Russia probe because he wrote a memorandum used as the rationale for Comey’s firing. In the memo, Rosenstein said Comey had violated longstanding Justice Department practices in his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, but shortly after the announcement of the firing the president said he’d decided to fire Comey before he received the recommendation from Rosenstein.”
“If the special counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the special counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters,’’ the order states.
“Officials said the appointment was being made under a Justice Department statute that has only been used once, in 1999, though the Justice Department has made other special counsel appointments more recently under different authority.”