Rosenstein told Trump last week he's not a target in Russian Federation probe

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During a hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson questioned Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing's assertion that Special Counsel Robert Mueller overstepped his authority in bringing charges that Downing said fell outside of parameters set by the Justice Department's No. 2 official Rod Rosenstein.

Bloomberg reports that Rosenstein met with the president last week and that's when the Deputy AG gave the president the assurance according to people familiar with the matter.

A US judge expressed scepticism on Thursday as a lawyer for President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort sought to convince her to dismiss charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The president signaled on Wednesday that he wanted to get the investigation over with as soon as possible and reminded reporters that Rosenstein and Mueller are "still here" despite near-constant speculation he might fire them.

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

Trump urged for a speedy end to the probe. A spokesperson for Manafort declined to comment. Starting Thursday, the department's detectives are required to bring any issued riot gear to work until further notice.

The police department appeared to be acting on information gathered from a group "Nobody is Above the Law" that has been preparing for demonstrations should the president move to fire Mueller. We may be needed to assist in the event that there is a large scale protest.

Asked on Wednesday if he was considering removing Rosenstein or Mueller, Trump simply noted that they're "still here".

Mueller or Rosenstein being fired has spurred members of Congress to push for legislation to protect the special counsel. "Investigators will naturally look at those things".

"There's just no way short of Donald Trump eating live babies in the White House, there is no way he's going to be impeached".

Trump also called the Mueller probe a "hoax" cooked up by Democrats to cover for their embarrassing election loss at least twice, and noted that Democrats had a tremendous built-in advantage in the Electoral College.

But he has also "agreed with the historically cooperative, disciplined approach that we have engaged in with Robert Mueller", saying that he has "full confidence in Ty Cobb, my Special Counsel, and have been fully advised throughout each phase of this process". "We want to get the investigations over with, done with, behind us", the president said at a joint press conference in Florida with the visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"As good as he is, I don't think the deputy attorney general could see into the future", she said.