Rod Rosenstein to Testify to Senate Committee on Role in Trump-Russia Probe

May 27, 2020 Updated: May 27, 2020

A former high-level Justice Department (DOJ) official, who was responsible for appointing former special counsel Robert Mueller, will testify to lawmakers who are probing the investigation into supposed links between then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Mueller’s investigation uncovered no evidence of such links and an increasing body of information points to the investigation being spurred by partisanship.

Rod Rosenstein will testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 3 at 10 a.m. According to the webpage for the hearing, there will be live video.

In a statement sent to news outlets Wednesday, Rosenstein said he was grateful for the opportunity to testify “about information that has come to light concerning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process and the FBI’s counterintelligence decision-making, as a result of completed inquiries by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and ongoing reviews by U.S. Attorneys John Durham and Jeff Jensen.”

Horowitz’s investigation uncovered at least 17 “significant errors or omissions” in applications to spy on Trump aide Carter Page, with other errors found when looking into adherence to internal rules. He also found evidence of political bias. Jensen was assigned to review the case against Trump’s one-time national security adviser. What he found led DOJ officials to submit a motion to dismiss the case against retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. And Durham is probing the origins of the investigation into Trump and Russia, which may culminate with criminal charges.

During his decades in law enforcement, Rosenstein added in his statement, he learned that most officers deserve the confidence people place in them but that “even the best law enforcement officers make mistakes” while others “engage in willful misconduct.”

Senator Lindsey Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Dec. 20, 2018. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“Independent law enforcement investigations, judicial review, and congressional oversight are important checks on the discretion of agents and prosecutors,” he continued. “We can only hope to maintain public confidence if we correct mistakes, hold wrongdoers accountable, and adopt policies to prevent problems from recurring.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said last week that he would start holding “multiple, in-depth congressional hearings regarding all things related to Crossfire Hurricane starting in early June.”

Crossfire Hurricane was the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian actors.

“I’m trying to explain to the American people what happened in Crossfire Hurricane,” Graham said, adding that he let Mueller do his job before launching the oversight effort.

Rosenstein left the DOJ in 2019 after two years in the department. After then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel.

Rosenstein is now working as a partner at the law firm King & Spalding.

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