President Donald Trump said he was under investigation for his firing of former FBI Director James Comey in a series of tweets sent in the early morning hours of June 16.
"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," Trump wrote on Twitter. Sources told Fox News that Trump was referring to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the tweet, citing the memo Rosenstein sent in May that offered criticism of then-FBI Director Comey.
A second source also told Fox News that Trump was not in fact admitting to being the subject of an active investigation, but rather was referencing content found in a recent article in The Washington Post.
Rosenstein, who served as Comey's direct superior at the Justice Department, hired Robert Mueller to oversee a wide-ranging investigation into any and all ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Mueller is a former FBI director.
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The Washington Post reported June 15 that Mueller was expanding his investigation to include potential obstruction of justice charges for Trump during his conversations with Comey.
"I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that’s a conclusion I’m sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that’s an offense," Comey said during Senate testimony on June 8, referring to alleged comments made by Trump that hinted at slowing investigations into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is also under investigation as a member of the Trump campaign, leading Sessions to recuse himself from the case and allowing Rosenstein to appoint Mueller to head the investigation, reports Fox News. Sessions and Trump were reportedly so at odds with Sessions' recusal from the case that Sessions even tendered his resignation. Trump refused to accept his resignation.
The Democratic National Committee urged June 16 for Rosenstein to also recuse himself, arguing that Trump has shown little hesitance to fire those he sees as opponents.
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"I’m growing increasingly concerned that the president will attempt to fire not only Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible obstruction of justice, but also Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein who appointed Mueller," wrote Democratic Senator from California Dianne Feinstein.
"The message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn’t apply to him and that anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired. That’s undemocratic on its face and a blatant violation of the president’s oath of office."