Naming Special Counsel Is 'Very, Very Negative Thing' For National Unity

Jessica Levinson, a law professor at the Loyola Law School, said: "You can start a special investigation that's more narrow and the further you go, the more people you talk to, and the more documents you obtain, then it becomes broader". "He learned of the president's decision to fire him and then he wrote his memo with his rationale", Durbin said.

Mr Rosenstein's memo was initially cited by the White House as the primary reason Mr Comey was sacked. "I actually thought when I made that decision, and I also got a very, very strong recommendation, as you know, from the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein". The memo harshly criticized Comey's handling of an investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails.

Trump cited displeasure with the FBI's Russian Federation probe as a factor in dismissing Comey.

Instead of being a popular decision, the firing was met by a tsunami of criticism by Democrats because as FBI director, Comey oversaw the investigation of Russian meddling in the USA election and potential ties to Trump's campaign. During Thursday's meeting, it led at least one senator to believe the probe has now turned into a criminal investigation.

Lawmakers were still picking through the fallout of Wednesday's stunning announcement by deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that he appointed Mueller to direct the special investigation into ties between Trump aides and Russian Federation.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, a former CT attorney general, told reporters, "The special prosecutor is doing an investigation of criminal allegations that are extremely serious, including possible obstruction of justice". Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Thursday. Mr Comey is said to have declined, and only offered his "honesty".

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, Mark Warner, insisted that shouldn't keep Comey from testifying before Congress about his firing, as many lawmakers have demanded. "So one of the big losers in this decision is the public", Graham said. "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" he Tweeted, also complaining that Hillary Clinton and President Obama were not investigated by a special counsel. But you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight.

"I just think Trump has to learn", North Carolina voter Don Schrum told MSNBC about the president's actions.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats met in private Wednesday to brainstorm how they were going to grill Rosenstein - including pressing him to name a special prosecutor.

"I didn't hear anything classified" during the briefing, Graham said.

Democratic lawmakers for weeks have been calling for the appointment of an independent prosecutor to head the investigation, particularly since 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.

"That was a consistent statement of his throughout", Murphy said.

The President's tweets appear to signal a policy of resistance to Mueller's investigation, that will now likely cast a shadow over the beleaguered White House for months if not years to come. "I think it shows division, and it shows that we're not together as a country", he said.

At a press conference later on Thursday, Trump said, "I respect the move but the entire thing is a witch hunt".