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Donald Trump confirms obstruction of justice probe, claiming 'witch hunt'

17 June 2017

Rosenstein is at the center of Comey's departure: His memo to Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the basis that White House officials and Trump himself have used to defend Comey's dismissal, despite the FBI's ongoing investigation into the 2016 campaign and Russia's attempts to help Trump win.

The future of Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, came under doubt Friday when Trump attacked him in a tweet and a USA official confirmed that Rosenstein has told colleagues he may have to recuse himself from the inquiry because he'd criticized James Comey in a memo before Trump fired the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

After the firestorm caused by Comey's firing, Rosenstein appointed Mueller, Comey's predecessor as FBI director, to take over the DOJ Russia investigation.

The President's tweet sparked immediate speculation about the future of the official, Rod Rosenstein, who wrote a memo recommending Comey be ousted and also later approved the appointment of a special counsel - Robert Mueller - to lead the Russian Federation probe. Trump wrote on Twitter. Mueller also has expansive powers to investigate any matters that develop from his initial investigation.

The investigation of course is being run by Robert Mueller, a former FBI director under Presidents Bush and Obama who was appointed last month by current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. "Witch Hunt", President Trump tweeted on Friday morning.

The tweet came after reports in The Washington Post on Wednesday claiming that Trump was being investigated for potential obstruction of justice by Rob Mueller, the special counsel investigating alleged Russian involvement in last year's vote and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

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Law enforcement officials continued Friday to analyze Hodgkinson's social media activities and examine his Belleville, Ill., home. The Daily Caller first reported that Hodgkinson had a note listing members of Congress on his person.

Trump seemed to prod Rosenstein over such a conflict in a tweet Friday.

Several investigations could pose trouble for Trump.

A United States official, speaking to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity, denied that Trump was confirming the investigation in his tweet.

USA president Donald Trump appeared to confirm he is under investigation for obstruction of justice, as he lashed out at what he described as a "witch hunt" against him.

Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, also has retained an attorney to represent him.

Trump's tweet comes on the heels of a vague statement on the investigation from Rosenstein, released late on Thursday, and the spate of exclusive stories about the latest developments.

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If Trump's goal is to limit Mueller's probe or force him out, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said this week, "that would be disastrous for him".

Trump slammed the development as political witch hunt.

Comey testified under oath to the Senate intelligence committee earlier in June that Trump told him in a private conversation: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go".

"Why is that Hillary Clintons family and Dems dealings with Russian Federation are not looked at, but my non-dealings are?" the president posted of his former Democratic rival for president. He also has millions of followers on his official Facebook pages.

Trump's friend Newt Gingrich - who is out with a new book titled "Understanding Trump" - is among those raising questions about the "anti-Trump" focus of Mueller's investigation.

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