Russia is now a criminal matter, senators say after 'sobering' briefing

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Rosenstein's briefing also comes after the decision he made earlier this week to appoint Mueller to be special counsel in the Justice Department's probe of Russian meddling in the USA election and any possible collusion between Moscow and Trump's presidential campaign past year. Whitehouse proposed Mueller use his scope to look into the circumstances under which former FBI Director James Comey was sacked. Several details emerged after the meeting broke, including Rosenstein's admission that, despite White House claims, Trump planned to fire ex-FBI director James Comey regardless of the Justice Department's recommendation.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said, "It's now considered a criminal investigation and Congress's ability to conduct investigations of all things Russian Federation has been severely limited - probably in an appropriate way". "It seems to me, now, to be a criminal investigation". He said Rosenstein's reason was that he didn't want to infringe on special counsel Robert Mueller.

In this case, Rosenstein likely appointed a special counsel because the investigation into Russia's alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential election could also probe Trump's affairs. But Sens. Tom Carper and Dick Durbin, both Democrats, and Sen. "I think at this point, we are 24-hours into him shifting the responsibility to Muller, and he is very comfortable allowing Mueller to take the investigation as far, as deep and as wide as necessary to discern all the information to draw a conclusion". J. Rosenstein exclusively to Robert S. Mueller III, his appointee as special counsel to the Justice Department's investigation.

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Florida Senator Marco Rubio also spoke to the press following Rosenstein's testimony but did not say much on Rosenstein's testimony.

They're asking him to come back to Capitol Hill to testify.

Because it was a closed briefing, it's unclear exactly how Rosenstein described how he knew Trump would fire Comey.

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Mr Trump has been under fire since news emerged this week that he had shared secrets with the Russians and allegedly tried to stop former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey from investigating his former adviser Michael Flynn.

Rosenstein's decision to appoint Mueller as special counsel could impede the congressional probes, senators said. However, the ways that a special counsel has been used before suggest the Russian Federation investigation could go down in USA history.

"The Intelligence Committee in the Senate has to continue its work, and it should continue full throttle ahead", Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the briefing. "And hopefully, this can go quickly, because we have to show unity if we're going to do great things with respect to the rest of the world".

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Trump said that Comey "was very unpopular with most people" and said that he was expecting more widespread praise for the firing. Putin said the anti-Russian sentiment in America is damaging the country and not allowing Trump to govern properly.

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