Former federal prosecutor, Robert Ray, made it clear that it is not necessary to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the potential ties between Russia and the 2016 Presidential Election, reports Fox Business.
During his exclusive interview, which was after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation, Ray stated that it was a political issue. He also said that unless it was evident there was collusion between Trump and Russia, or that there were promises made during the election, there was no need for a special prosecutor investigating the case.
Americans Polled Want a Special Prosecutor
Most Americans want a special prosecutor to join the investigation, says TIME.
In the CNN/ORC Survey, which was released just last week, two-thirds of Americans do think a special prosecutor should be appointed to conduct the investigation. Congress, on the other hand, was given a 32 percent favor for doing their investigation without the need of a special prosecutor.
More than half of those surveyed did say that they were concerned about Trump’s connection to Russia, which is a controversy that has been with Trump since the early start of his campaign and well into the beginning of his administration.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from the investigation after it was revealed that he did not disclose contacts with the Russian ambassador during his confirmation.
70 percent of Americans, which includes 47 percent of Republicans, agreed with the conclusion that Russia did want to influence the outcome of the election.
While Americans agree that Russia played a role, that does not necessarily mean that they agree Trump was colluding with Russia to sway the vote in his favor. Also, the poll found that news reports about Trump’s contact with Russia had no effect on the administration’s approval rating. In fact, 45 percent of Americans still approve Trump’s work.
Congress to Include Investigation into Obama Administration Wiretapping
Republicans have announced that they will include the claims from Trump, which state that the Obama administration wiretapped to prove Russian meddling. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence reported that they would examine the president’s allegations, and it would be part of the Russian-Trump probe.
One of their focus areas in the investigation is to see if Russian intelligence agents were influencing the election and if there was any communication between Trump and Russian authorities at that time.
Also, they will investigate to see if the government was conducting any surveillance on political party campaign officials or their surrogates, as Trump claims were the case.
This announcement came after the White House issued a request to Congress to investigate if the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower during the election. There were reports that the investigations were politically motivated to push the 2016 election in a “troubling” way, says the White House.
Donald Trump himself has requested that part of the investigation into the Russian influence include whether the executive branch was also wiretapping campaign officials.