Democratic lawmakers for weeks have been calling for the appointment of an independent prosecutor to head the investigation, particularly since Mr. Trump abruptly fired former FBI chief James Comey last week in the middle of the agency's probe into Russia's involvement in the USA elections and the Kremlin's links with the mogul's presidential campaign. But GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly anxious since Trump fired Comey, who had been leading the bureau's probe - and after Comey associates said he had notes from a meeting in which Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into the Russian Federation ties of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank, said Lieberman lacks law enforcement experience and is too close to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former USA senator.
Speaking at a joint press conference at the White House with Colombian President Juan Miguel Santos, Trump reiterated the phrase he used Thursday morning on Twitter and again denied his campaign colluded in Russia's cyberattacks against Hillary Clinton and the Democrats during last year's election.
The president claimed he was the target of the "greatest witch hunt" in U.S. political history and complained that the campaign against him was dividing the country.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a critic of Trump's inside the GOP, said the Rosenstein briefing led him to believe the nature of the Russian Federation investigation had changed, from one examining how far Russian Federation had meddled in the election to whether any USA citizens were part of the effort.
Afterward, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters that "everything he said was that you need to treat this investigation as if it may be a criminal investigation".
"He learned the president's decision to fire him and then he wrote his memo with his rationale", Senator Durbin said. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, said of Rosenstein after the hearing.
"He knew that Comey was going to be removed prior to him writing his memo", said Sen.
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Brookings Institute senior fellow Benjamin Wittes, who is a friend of James Comey, has publicly detailed an incident that Comey relayed to him which Wittes finds disturbing.
Comey may once have tried to hide behind curtains to avoid Donald J. Trump, but the former FBI director's investigation could mean curtains for the Trump presidency.
"Congress' ability to conduct investigations of all-things Russian Federation has been several limited", Graham said.
The Senate intelligence committee also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to turn over any notes Comey might have made regarding discussions he had with White House or Justice Department officials about Russia's efforts to influence the election. The White House pointed to this recommendation as the reason that Mr. Trump chose to fire Mr. Comey, although Mr. Trump later said in an interview that he had already made a decision to fire Mr. Comey after taking office.
Trump said he had "respect" for the move, but added: "I think it divides the country".
Comey did not. Trump called him over from across the room, and the two shook hands as attendees applauded.
The Republican leader, who has struggled to shake off suspicions that Russian Federation helped put him in the White House, has been accused of seeking to block the investigation by firing FBI chief James Comey.
In an atypical move for a sitting president, Trump publicly criticized a law enforcement matter decided by his own Justice Department, to appoint and independent investigator to take over the probe.