Robert Mueller's team questioned Rod Rosenstein in Trump's firing of James Comey

Lester Mason
Сентября 20, 2017

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team has interviewed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein regarding Donald Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, the Wall Street Journal reports.

As part of his probe, Mueller is focussed on not just the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia - but also whether Trump may have obstructed justice by firing Comey in May this year.

Rosenstein drafted a soon-to-be contentious memo detailing Comey's handling of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, which the White House publicly used to justify his firing of the Federal Bureau of Investigation director in May.

Rosenstein has said he knew Comey would be fired before he wrote the May 9 memo outlining the case against him. The Justice Department effectively confirmed that Comey's firing is within the scope of the investigation when it refused to allow two investigators to testify about the topic before Congress last week.

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Mueller's investigators report to Rosenstein, who oversaw the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation following the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "However, nothing has changed", the Justice Department said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the source quoted in the report pointed out that the questioning by investigators of the top DOJ official overseeing the probe is a rare occurrence, but added Rosenstein has no plans to immediately recuse himself.

Should he should recuse himself, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, the third highest-ranking official at the Justice Department, would take over and provide oversight of the special counsel's office.

The Wall Street Journal story (sub. req.), based on anonymous sources, notes that Rosenstein is overseeing the special counsel investigation into Russian influence in the USA election.

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