But Rosenstein could end up recusing himself, too, Justice officials say, in part because he played a role in President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.
It was not clear whether the President was basing his tweet on direct knowledge that he is under investigation, or on reports this week that special counsel Robert Mueller is examining whether the President obstructed justice by firing Mr Comey last month amid the ongoing Russian Federation investigation. And a person familiar with Trump’s thinking said Tuesday morning that it’s “unlikely” the President will fire Mueller, but conceded that it’s often hard to predict Trump’s behavior.
“He is a man of extraordinary independence and integrity. and great character”, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters on Wednesday, noting that the longtime Justice Department official “came to work, sat down and made his recommendation” to fire Comey.
ABC said Mr Rosenstein told Associate Attorney-General Rachel Brand she would have authority over the probe if he were to step aside. He took over the investigation after Attorney-General Jeff Sessions recused himself in March.
However in an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” Sekulow admitted that he doesn’t actually know for certain if Trump is under investigation or not because he can’t read the mind of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, also has retained an attorney to represent him.
If Trump and other senior White House officials have concerns about Rosenstein’s credibility, they certainly didn’t voice it in the past.
A few minutes earlier, the president tweeted about what he characterized as progress for his administration.
He could fire Rosenstein and his replacement will fire Mr. Mueller.
Under federal rules, Trump can’t fire Mueller.
USA intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russian Federation interfered in the presidential race to try to help Mr Trump win, in part by hacking and releasing emails damaging to his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
A bitter Comey also admitted that it was he who leaked the story of Trump “hoping” Comey would “let go” the fired NSA Michael Flynn to prompt the appointment of a special prosecutor to probe the Russian Federation affair.
Reuters also cited an anonymous source close to Trump’s outside legal team who said Trump was reacting to a Washington Post story about the probe, and didn’t intend the tweet to confirm an investigation.
But if Russia’s chief “goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process”, as attributed to “17 intelligence agencies”, then the spectacle of the “Deep State” going after a duly elected President, is giving Putin what he wanted on a platter.
Regardless of the chaos that could ensue in the leadership of the Justice Department, Mueller’s investigation appears insulated, and much of the work of the department done by United States attorneys across the country will continue, Cramer said.