Mueller expands special counsel office, hires 13 lawyers

With news reports that the Special Counsel investigating election interference in 2016 by Russian Federation is looking at possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump, Mr. Trump expressed frustration Thursday at the prospect of that review, again taking to Twitter to denounce the probe as a "witch hunt", and complaining that Hillary Clinton should be the subject of a Russia-related investigation, not him.

The Democratic National Committee said on Friday it saw a need for Rosenstein to recuse himself, but it said control over the investigation should be given to Mueller and not another Trump appointee. "Witch Hunt", Trump tweeted on Friday morning.

But it has today been described as a "crime scene" following revelations the probe into Russia's interference in the United States election has been widened to include allegations President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice.

Special counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional panels are investigating the Russian Federation issue, which has cast a shadow over the early months of Trump's presidency.

Vice President Pence hired outside legal counsel to help with both congressional committee inquiries and the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between President Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

Trump tweeted that after months of investigation into "my 'collusion with the Russians, ' nobody has been able to show any proof. Witch Hunt", wrote Trump. He declined further comment.

The Post report came days after a Trump confidant, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, told PBS the president was "considering" firing Mueller. It was not clear whether these records would be sought by Mueller, or the various Senate and House committees investigating alleged Russian interference in the USA election, or all of these.

Earlier Thursday, Trump took to his favorite social media platform to assail reports that a special counsel is investigating obstruction of justice allegations against him.

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Rosenstein appointed Mueller to investigate alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election, and has told lawmakers he would only fire him with good cause.

Mr Comey, who had been leading one of several Russian Federation inquiries, testified to Congress last week that the president had pressured him to drop an inquiry into links between Mr Flynn and Russian Federation.

Spicer also defended Rosenstein, telling Fox Business on the night of the firing that he is "someone who has earned bipartisan support and most recently served as the U.S. attorney for Maryland under President Obama".

Ultimately, it would be up to Mueller to decide whether there is enough evidence to recommend pursuing charges on any part of the investigation. Flynn was forced to resign for misleading administration officials about his contacts with Russia's USA ambassador. Trump and the White House disputed Comey's description of the events. Vice president Mike Pence, who has mostly been on the sidelines of the investigations, has hired his own outside legal counsel, veteran Washington lawyer Richard Cullen, his spokesman said Thursday.

Comey said he believed Trump was trying to get him to drop an investigation of the president's former national security adviser, and that White House officials spread "lies, plain and simple" to cover up the reason for his dismissal.

The letter said the investigation will also probe Comey's testimony that Loretta Lynch, as President Barack Obama's attorney general, had directed him to describe an FBI probe into Hillary Clinton's email practices as merely a "matter" and to avoid calling it an investigation.

The Russia issue has cast a shadow over Trump's five months in office.

Other presidents have managed to compartmentalize investigations and go about the business of governing, but Trump seems consumed by the Mueller probe.

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