Missouri’s U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is being very vocal after a meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein yesterday.
McCaskill and other Senators were briefed by Rosenstein about his memo which was initially credited by the White House for the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Rosenstein told the lawmakers in a closed door session that he knew before he wrote the memo that President Trump was going to terminate Comey. A day after the memo came out, Trump also said he’d previously made that decision.
McCaskill emerged from the closed door briefing to confirm what Rosenstein said. “He did acknowledge that he learned Comey would be removed prior to him writing his memo,” McCaskill told reporters.
In the memo, Rosenstein wrote that Comey had been fired for poor handling of the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton, namely Comey’s announced days before the Presidential election that the case had been reopened.
Rosenstein also updated Senators on his appointment of a special prosecutor during the meeting. Calls for a special counsel to investigate escalated after Trump fired Comey. Comey has since claimed that Trump urged him to drop the FBI investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia to game the 2016 Presidential election for the New York real estate icon.
Rosenstein’s choice for special prosecutor, Robert S. Mueller III, also headed the FBI from 2001 to 2013. McCaskill thinks Mueller will be given significant space to investigate alleged ties to Russia or obstruction of justice on the part of Trump.
“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. “As a former prosecutor, I respect that decision.”
Meanwhile, Trump says he’s very close to selecting a new FBI Director, and has indicated a preference for former Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman. Like most other members of her party, McCaskill opposes Lieberman, saying he carries too much political baggage.
“This is a moment where we need a law enforcement professional that’s never campaigned for a presidential candidate, never campaigned for office, never worn a party label, to head the FBI.”