WASHINGTON— On Wednesday, June 3, Former Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is the first hearing by the Senate Republicans’ to examine the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation.
Conducted by Robert Mueller between 2017 and 2019, the Special Counsel investigated Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and whether there were links between associates of President Trump and Russian officials. The Mueller Report concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to determine this, and did not take a clear position on Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice. Moreover, there were serious errors in the investigation documents.
“We have looked at Russia’s role in the election. Now we’re going to look at the Mueller investigation. And we’re going to look hard,” said Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham.
In his testimony, Rod Rosenstein maintained that appointing Robert Mueller as inspector general was the right decision under the circumstances. He blamed the FBI for the problems that arose. The FBI “was not following the written protocols… significant errors appeared in [the] applications,” said Rosenstein. He also expressed that he does not consider the investigation to be corrupt, but understands the frustrations of President Trump given the outcome of it.
However, Rosenstein admitted that he would not have ordered a renewal of the court wiretap against Trump’s former campaign advisor, Carter Page, if he had been aware of the errors that existed.
Rosenstein was confronted by Texas Senator Ted Cruz. “All of this was allowed to go forward under your leadership… either that you were complicit in the wrongdoing, which I don’t believe was the case, or your performance of your duties was grossly negligent,” said Cruz.
Rosenstein is the first of many witnesses to come. The Senate Judiciary Committee intends to request to issue subpoenas that relate to the FBI’s investigation. This includes testimonies from law enforcement, national security officials, and members of the Obama administration.