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Rosenstein Defends Mueller In Judiciary Testimony
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday where he took exception to criticism of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, saying it is “not a witch hunt.”
During the hearing, Rosenstein faced questions about scenarios in which he would fire the special counsel. As of now, the Deputy AG says he doesn’t see a good reason to do that, as no rules have been broken. The following is an exchange he had with Judiciary Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
“If you were ordered today to fire Mr. Mueller, what would do?” Nadler asked.
“As I’ve explained previously, I would follow regulations. If there were good cause, I would act. If there were no good cause, I would not,” Rosenstein said.
“And you see no good cause so far?” Nadler continued.
“Correct,” Rosenstein said.
Rosenstein also addressed questions of alleged bias among Mueller’s team against the president raised by a number of GOP committee members, including Lamar Smith (R-TX).
“I’m not aware of impropriety. We do have regulations. The special counsel is subject to all the Department’s rules and subject to oversight by the Department, including the inspector general. I’m not aware of any violation of those rules by the special counsel employees.”
Rosenstein also pushed back on the notion put forth by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) that just because some among Mueller’s team have political opinions that the whole investigation is tained.
“We recognize we have employees with political opinions. It’s our responsibility to make sure those opinions do not influence their actions,” Rosenstein said. “I believe that Director Mueller understands that and that he is running that office appropriately, recognizing that people have political views, but ensuring those views are not in any way a factor in how they conduct themselves in office.”
The Deputy AG also said that it would be difficult to find someone “better qualified for this job” than Mueller.