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Rod Rosenstein secretly crippled the Mueller investigation: report

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Rod Rosenstein plays a key role in overseeing the probe into alleged collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, which the president calls a politically motivated "witch hunt". (AFP/File / Brendan SMIALOWSKI)

According to a report from the New York Times, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had a hand in limiting the scope of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russians by secretly curtailing an FBI counterintelligence probe.

The report from Michael Schmidt of the Times begins by stating, “The Justice Department secretly took steps in 2017 to narrow the investigation into Russian election interference and any links to the Trump campaign, according to former law enforcement officials,” before adding, “But law enforcement officials never fully investigated Mr. Trump’s own relationship with Russia, even though some career F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators thought his ties posed such a national security threat that they took the extraordinary step of opening an inquiry into them.”

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At the center of the investigation interference was Rosenstein who reportedly curtailed the investigation without letting FBI officials know.

The report points out that acting FBI director Andrew McCabe had given the go-ahead to open the investigation over concerns over foreign interference, but Rosenstein felt he had a conflict of interest and that the probe could not be justified.

“Mr. Rosenstein determined that the investigators were acting too hastily in response to the firing days earlier of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, and he suspected that the acting bureau director who approved the opening of the inquiry, Andrew G. McCabe, had conflicts of interest,” Schmidt wrote, adding, “Mr. Rosenstein never told Mr. McCabe about his decision, leaving the F.B.I. with the impression that the special counsel would take on the investigation into the president as part of his broader duties. Mr. McCabe said in an interview that had he known Mr. Mueller would not continue the inquiry, he would have had the F.B.I. perform it.

According to McCabe, “We opened this case in May 2017 because we had information that indicated a national security threat might exist, specifically a counterintelligence threat involving the president and Russia. I expected that issue and issues related to it would be fully examined by the special counsel team. If a decision was made not to investigate those issues, I am surprised and disappointed. I was not aware of that.”

The Times notes that Rosenstein did not respond to questions about the report.

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2020 Election

Portland sheriff fires back at Trump for falsely claiming he supports the president

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Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese of Portland, Oregon, quickly shut down President Donald Trump's claim that he endorsed him for the upcoming presidential election.

During the first presidential debate on Tuesday night, Reese took to Twitter with his reaction to Trump's remarks as he confirmed he has never supported Trump. In addition, he also made it clear he has no intent on supporting the president going forward.

"In tonight's presidential debate the President said the 'Portland Sheriff' supports him," Reese tweeted on Tuesday night, adding, "As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him."

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Lindsey Graham lashes out at ‘clueless’ Comey after GOP chair gets accused of ignoring Russian election threat

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday lashed out at former FBI Director James Comey after Comey accused him of ignoring the ongoing threat of Russian interference with America's elections.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Comey schooled Graham on the necessity of investigating whether President Donald Trump's campaign worked with the Russian government against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Although special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the matter did not establish a criminal conspiracy, it did reveal multiple contacts and meetings between Trump officials and Russian agents throughout the campaign. Mueller also found that the Trump campaign sent multiple signals to the Russians that they welcomed their help in taking down Clinton.

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2020 Election

‘Biden won’: Fox Business host gives Kayleigh McEnany bad news about Trump’s debate

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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisted on Wednesday that President Donald Trump came out on top against Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Tuesday night's debate.

McEnany was asked about Trump's performance by Fox Business host Stuart Varney.

"He thinks he won the debate?" Varney wondered. "Does he think that?"

"Yes, he does," McEnany replied. "He was in very good spirits. He brought the fight that I think the American people wanted to see."

"President Trump took on the role of both the media, what they should be doing, and a candidate sharing his record with the American people," she opined.

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