Cervantes

Hoy es el día más hermoso de nuestra vida, querido Sancho; los obstáculos más grandes, nuestras propias indecisiones; nuestro enemigo más fuerte, el miedo al poderoso y a nosotros mismos; la cosa más fácil, equivocarnos; la más destructiva, la mentira y el egoísmo; la peor derrota, el desaliento; los defectos más peligrosos, la soberbia y el rencor; las sensaciones más gratas, la buena conciencia, el esfuerzo para ser mejores sin ser perfectos, y sobretodo, la disposición para hacer el bien y combatir la injusticia dondequiera que esté.

MIGUEL DE CERVANTES
Don Quijote de la Mancha.

18 de mayo de 2017

Trump Cries ‘Witch Hunt’ as Mueller Nod Bolsters FBI Probe

  • President questions legitimacy after special counsel appointed
  • Mueller given broad power to issue subpoenas, call witnesses
President Donald Trump questioned the legitimacy of the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, a day after his Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to manage a probe that has enveloped the White House in a political storm.
“This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” Trump said on Twitter on Thursday morning. There was never a “special councel” appointed to investigate what he called “all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration,” he said.
His comments contrasted starkly with the brief, measured remarks that he dictated in a meeting with aides Wednesday night shortly after Mueller’s appointment. In the statement as released by the White House, Trump said, “a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know -- there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly.”
While Trump fumed, many lawmakers from both parties were praising the appointment of Mueller by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who’s scheduled to brief the entire Senate in a closed session Thursday about the investigation and about his role in the president’s abrupt dismissal of James Comey as FBI chief last week.
The Republican and Democrats leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee said in a joint statement Thursday that the appointment is “a positive development and will provide some certainty for the American people that the investigation will proceed fairly and free of political influence.”
QuickTake Your Guide to the Russia Investigations
Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina, the panel’s chairman, and Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat, said the committee will continue its own investigation and “engage with Director Mueller” on any potential conflicts.
The House Intelligence Committee, meanwhile, requested documents from the Justice Department and FBI about the bureau’s investigation and any records related to Comey’s dismissal. Comey wrote detailed memos of his conversations with Trump, including one in which the president allegedly asked him to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Flynn was forced to resign in February after it was disclosed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his conversations with Russia’s U.S. ambassador. Flynn is under investigation for his contacts with Russia as well as his work on behalf of Turkey’s government while he was a prominent campaign supporter of Trump. He has become a central figure in the investigations going on in Congress.

Flynn Subpoena

Burr, the Senate intelligence panel’s chairman, said they are awaiting word from Flynn’s attorneys whether he will comply with a subpoena for his records.
Rosenstein appointed Mueller in an order giving him broad authority to pursue the investigation into Russian meddling, including “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”
“If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters,” the order says. That means he can issue subpoenas, present evidence to a grand jury and bring charges -- all the powers of a federal prosecutor.

Need to Investigate

Representative Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican, said on CNN Thursday that Trump’s dismissal of the investigation as a “witch hunt” was "unfortunate."
Curbelo said that he "can understand why this situation is frustrating to the president," but that Trump must understand there’s a need investigate Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
Richard Ledgett, former deputy director of the National Security Agency, said in an interview in Washington that Mueller’s appointment would help restore the intelligence community’s confidence amid turmoil over the investigations.
“He’s a pillar of rectitude,” Ledgett said of Mueller. “Knowing that Bob’s in charge will make everybody feel good about it.”
Markets have been roiled by the uproar in Washington on the risk that Trump’s plans for tax cuts and infrastructure spending will get stalled while the controversies played out. The benchmark S&P 500 slumped 1.8 percent Wednesday, its worst day since Sept. 9. Stocks rebounded Thursday, with technology and bank shares resuming rallies as data reinforced optimism in the economy.
The Mueller appointment will, at least temporarily, relieve some of the pressure on congressional Republicans who’ve publicly complained that the constant drama and serial controversies at the White House were hindering their ability to work on their policy agenda. It also may give Trump’s White House, which is interviewing candidates to nominate as Comey’s successor, some relief from the barrage of questions from the media as Mueller takes the lead in an investigation that will mostly take place out of the public eye for now.

Rosenstein’s Role

Another beneficiary may be Rosenstein, who was criticized for doing the White House’s bidding after a memo he wrote criticizing Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe last year emerged as a justification for the FBI chief’s dismissal. The deputy attorney general notified the White House of his appointment only after he signed the order designating Mueller as special counsel.
The White House was already reeling from allegations Trump asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, the revelation that the president may have inadvertently passed sensitive intelligence to two top Russian officials in the Oval Office and a suggestion he made that he might be secretly recording his conversations. All that was in the last seven days.
Trump will carry that baggage on his first overseas trip as president. He leaves Friday for meetings in Saudi Arabia and Israel followed by summits with U.S. NATO allies and with other leaders of the world’s major economies. He also is scheduled to have an audience with the Pope.
Trump’s political organization has been sending out appeals for donations by portraying the president as under siege by the Washington establishment and the media. One sent by email on Wednesday was titled “Sabotage.” The campaign on Thursday said that it generated $314,000 online, mostly through small donations.
Trump made clear his approach to dealing with those controversies during an unusual commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Wednesday afternoon, before the announcement that a special counsel had been named. He advised cadets never to give up the fight, citing his own example.
“Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media,” Trump said. “No politician in history -- and I say this with great surety -- has been treated worse or more unfairly.”
He added, “Adversity makes you stronger. Don’t give in. Don’t back down.”

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