Democrats and Republicans welcome Mueller as special investigator

Democrats and Republicans welcome Mueller as special investigator

But his reputation has come under fierce attack in the past week over a memo he wrote about James Comey that the White House initially used as a justification for Trump to fire the Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 18, 2017, for a closed-door meeting with Senators a day after appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the investig.

Most importantly, Mueller's appointment shows that the Department of Justice is willing to conduct an investigation independent of the White House.

The problem with special counsels, as we've learned time and again, is that they are by definition all but politically unaccountable. The appointment was like a sucker punch for President Donald Trump as he had no idea about it. Hours after the appointment, he tweeted that it was a witch hunt. He also mentioned how the Clinton and Obama administration had committed illegal acts but no "special counsel was appointed". Trump tweeted. "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Missouri's U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is being very vocal after a meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein yesterday. Moreover, Comey testified under oath on May 3, before the Senate Judiciary Committee on FBI oversight, that he had not experienced political interference with the FBI's ongoing investigation activities. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham shared, "It was a counterintelligence investigation before now".

After the Senate briefing was announced Monday by a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement that he hoped senators on both sides of the aisle would "use this opportunity to seek the full truth" about Comey's firing.

Rosenstein briefed senators on Thursday, but made no public comments.

Rosenstein may have been asked about his decision to open an independent investigation, as well as the circumstances surrounding the memo he wrote about Comey.

Lindsey Graham: Russia probe 'now a criminal investigation'
Lindsey Graham, said he was convinced that Mueller's appointment would hinder Congress' probing. Durbin added that Rosenstein declined to say who told him to write the memo.

There was confusion during the day surrounding Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser who has emerged as a central figure because of his own ties to Russian Federation, which led to his dismissal early on in the Trump administration.

"He's anxious to give wide latitude to Robert Mueller, to make a determination as to where his investigation should go, and what it should include" McCaskill said. To that end, the separate probes under way in House and Senate committees should be suspended while Mueller tries to bring an objective eye to this essential investigation. "Only a Congressional investigation can recommend and Congress enact additional sanctions on the Russian government, while only the Special Counsel can determine whether or not criminal charges are warranted".

Initially it was Rosenstein's memo - critical of Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal past year - that was put forward as the justification for the dismissal.

On Thursday, Trump denied trying to influence the investigation by sacking Comey.

But according to a person close to the White House, Rosenstein was upset about the narrative that emerged from the White House the evening of May 9.

The president also suggested that the investigation now being headed by Mueller was motivated by an attempt by Democrats to explain away "having lost an election that they should have easily won because of the Electoral College being slanted so much in their way". Every day is something new.

He said he respected the special counsel appointment but also said it "hurts our country terribly".