Tuesday, 20 February, 2018

Rod Rosenstein, deputy AG, feels warmth from FISA memo backlash

President Trump offered a cryptic response when asked about Rosenstein’s fate on Friday President Trump offered a cryptic response when asked about Rosenstein’s fate on Friday
| 06 February, 2018, 15:43

As a further sign of the President's focus on Rosenstein's testimony, one of the sources said Trump also had suggested questions to members of Congress that they could ask Rosenstein.

Trump continued to publicly attack Sessions and the Justice Department, but Sessions and Rosenstein moved ahead with their conservative agenda and began undoing Obama-era criminal justice and civil rights initiatives.

Rosenstein is the only Department of Justice official who can remove Mueller, and he was expected to be named in the four-page classified memo made public Friday, local media stated.

Senate Minority Whip warned President Trump and his GOP allies on Sunday not to use a bombshell memo on the FBI's snooping powers to upend independent probes into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, saying it could spark a "constitutional crisis".

Despite the president's obvious displeasure with the deputy AG, administration officials walked back his statements Friday evening to assuage growing concerns that a dismissal was imminent.

Nancy Pelosi speaks with Chuck Schumer on Jan. 30 2018
Nancy Pelosi speaks with Chuck Schumer on Jan. 30 2018

"The reason it might be better to fire the boss is Rod Rosenstein sets the investigation", the California Democrat said. Comey did not pledge loyalty, and after a few additional tense interactions with Trump, he was sacked in May 2017. "And I am proud to work for a president and an attorney general who support our efforts to achieve those goals".

Rosenstein's meeting with the President came as Rosenstein prepared to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. Sources say Trump believes Rosenstein was upset Mueller wasn't selected as Federal Bureau of Investigation director and responded by making him special counsel. He disputed the notion that the probe is a "witch hunt". "I believe that Director Mueller understands that, and he is running his office appropriately".

Democrats on the House intelligence panel had tried to block the memo's release.

White House chief of staff John Kelly later notified the Justice Department that the President would not help block access to the documents.

They also criticized House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes for not having read the classified material that formed the basis for the memo. Nunes added that he thinks Rosenstein "can fix the problems over at DOJ, and we're willing to work with him".


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