Rosenstein has authority over the inquiry because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself on March 2 after revelations of previously undisclosed meetings with Russia’s ambassador to Washington while he was a Trump campaign adviser.
A major test on that front will be whether the FBI is willing to release memos from former FBI Director James Comey of his conversations with Trump, now that they have been provided to Mueller. Rosenstein last month appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the probe.
“I think he’s trying to force Rosenstein to quit his job or recuse himself, and then maybe somewhere down the line someone other than Rosenstein is supervising Mueller”, he said.
Mueller is also looking at whether, if any potential offenses were committed, Trump or others attempted to cover them up or obstruct the investigation into them, said one USA official on Thursday who is familiar with the rough outlines of the probe and who spoke on condition of anonymity. The Washington Post or one of President Trump’s attorneys? By summer 2018 Bob Mueller might be reporting to a Justice Department intern.
The president has directed some of his frustration at Rosenstein and Mueller. Rosenstein, who would be responsible for actually dismissing Mueller, told US lawmakers he would fire him only with good cause.
Rosenstein, 52, has kept a relatively low profile throughout his decades working inside the Justice Department, a fact that likely helped him win bipartisan approval weeks ago when 94 senators voted to confirm his appointment to deputy attorney general. “Tweets are not going to change how he approaches something”, said Jan Miller, a former USA attorney in IL who worked with Rosenstein in the Maryland office. Right now, that’s Dana Boente, who is also acting as head of the department’s National Security Division.
“In the twilight of the Bush administration, we don’t need an acting USA attorney in Maryland”, Mikulski said at the time.
Comey suggested he expected Mueller would look into whether Trump’s efforts to intervene in the Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry amounted to obstruction of justice.
Like his famous predecessor, the Nixon administration’s Robert Bork, who played a key role in the “Saturday Night Massacre”, the solicitor general will be the next in line to supervise the investigation and execute any lawful orders issued by his boss, the President of the United States, regarding the Mueller probe. But that doesn’t appear to violate any ethics rules, either, Slansky said. “So no, the presidents not under investigation, has not been”, he said.
Questions of conflicts of interest are typically a matter of “self-regulation”, rather than Justice Department regulations, said Jonathan Turley, a public policy law expert at George Washington University.
The memo, which threatens criminal prosecution for failure to comply, was issued the same day it was revealed Vice President Mike Pence retained a criminal lawyer to represent him in the multiple ongoing investigations.
The tweets also are seen by some in the president’s circle as the beginning of a case against the officials investigating him. But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey.
A spokesman for the office of the special counsel declined to comment, and so did a representative for the director of National Intelligence.