Thursday, May 18, 2017
Newly Appointed US Special Investigator To Clarify Russia's Affair
On Wednesday, Vice-Minister Rod Rosenstein explicitly instructed Mueller to "examine any links and/or votes between the Russian government and persons linked to the election campaign of President Donald Trump". The post is equipped with comprehensive investigations and is protected against political influence.
With the appointment of an external special investigator, he wanted to ensure the independence and credibility of the investigations, explained Rosenstein. Although he had great confidence in the independence of his own investigators. He considered a special investigator, however, "necessary for the American people to have full confidence in the results." The appeal is not "that crimes were committed".
Mueller's appointment was made by Vice-Minister Rosenstein after Jeff Sessions had to withdraw from the investigation into the Russia affair. He was under pressure in the affair, because he had concealed from the Senate hearings meeting with the Russian ambassador.
Rosenstein's political independence, however, is questioned, as he has been critical about the dealings of former FBI chief James Comey with the investigation into the private e-mail account of Hillary Clinton.
Mueller had been appointed FBI chief of the Republican President George W. Bush in 2001. In this office, he has earned great respect for his party. Most recently Mueller worked in his own law firm; This activity leaves the 72-year-old now.
Trump said he expected relief from the investigation. "A thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - that there was no interplay between my election campaign and any foreign power," said Trump. The White House only a few days ago had declared the appointment of a special investigator unnecessary and referred to ongoing investigations in parliamentary committees.
The appointment of a special investigator was welcomed throughout the party. Republican chairman Jason Chaffetz described Mueller as an "excellent choice". The Democratic senator Chuck Schumer explained that he now had "much more confidence" in the investigations.
Mueller's appointment had preceded turbulent days in Washington. Trump had fired last week FBI chief Comey under questionable circumstances. He also justified the dismissal with the investigations of the FBI on possible entanglements of his team in Russian election campaign interventions.
On Wednesday, media attention reported that the President may have urged the FBI chief to stop investigations against his retired security adviser Michael Flynn about Russia contacts. This had raised the question of whether the President was trying to hinder the investigation. Therefore calls for an independent special investigator were getting louder.
The New York Times reported on the late Wednesday evening that Flynn had been nominated for the sensitive post, although he had informed the newly-elected US government of his investigation. Flynn resigned after only 24 days in office because of his controversial Russia contacts and a related false declaration.
"Washington Post" report that the Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, in the summer of last year, expressed the suspicion in a private conversation with party members that President Trump was being paid by Putin. The sheet has, according to own data, a recording of the conversation. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House of Representatives, is said to have protested the republicans present.