In his speech, Rosenstein said that based on what he knew by May 2017 from briefings by FBI agents and prosecutors, the Russia investigation “was justified and closing it was not an option.” By then, he said, he knew people with connections to “a presidential campaign were under investigation in relation to their connections with Russian agents.”
But he pointed out the Justice Department’s inspector general is currently reviewing aspects of the investigation’s genesis, and if new facts are found, he could reconsider his opinion.
Rosenstein is clearly covering his butt here. Defending the Mueller investigation but leaving open the option to revise his opinion should the DOJ Inspector General investigation find evidence of malfeasance in the origins of the probe.
Having drawn fire on both sides of the political aisle for some of his decisions, Rosenstein disputed any partisan leanings. When it came to “foreign election interference,” like tens of thousands of other cases he supervised, he said, “I was always on the same team. I was on the American team.”
That remains to be seen. Did Rosenstein really offer to wear a wire to entrap the President? This is still unclear.
Rosenstein then went on to really pound former FBI Director James Comey for his reckless behavior:
Rosenstein said that Mueller’s report states that former that when White House Counsel Don McGahn advised him that Trump had decided to remove Comey, but that to him, “nobody said that the removal was intended to influence the course of my Russia investigation.”
Rosenstein said he does not dislike the former director, and in fact, “at the time I admired him personally and appreciated some of his accomplishments at the FBI.”
But he suggested that Comey had made mistakes, with “the clearest mistake” being to reveal his recommendation about the probe into Hillary Clinton’s email use, discussing details about it, and then sending a letter to Congress “on the eve of the election stating that one of the candidates was under criminal investigation,” a reference to… Read more »