US House releases memo on the handling of the Trump investigation

Casey Dawson
February 4, 2018

A top Democratic congressman said Friday he is "very concerned" about the possibility that President Donald Trump will fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the wake of a controversial memo alleging Federal Bureau of Investigation abuses of its surveillance authority.

President Donald Trump's Thursday decision to release a controversial memo written by the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee makes clearer than ever that Trump - and many, many of today's Republicans in Congress - couldn't care less about the rule of law than they do about possible political one-upmanship.

U.S. Representative Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) said a potential Rosenstein departure "raises more flags than it dismisses", while Representative David Joyce (R-Ohio) suggested both Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Rosenstein should continue their investigations unabated.

President Donald Trump allegedly asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the official in charge of overseeing the Russian Federation probe, if he was on Trump's side. They say it mischaracterizes the motivations behind a 2016 surveillance warrant on Trump campaign official Carter Page.

The meeting took place just days before Rosenstein was scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. In some instances, experts see a clear violation; in others, a series of improper comments and acts whose cumulative effect is that the attorney general is, in fact, a player in the Russian Federation investigation. "You figure that one out", Trump had replied. It could be because of the response that they wrote to The New York Times article that they said came from Don Jr., but instead came from Trump and Hope Hicks.

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The Nunes memo has been released - and the conservative drumbeat demanding the firing of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is getting louder. He has told associates the document could undercut the FBI Russia investigation led by Mueller. Despite his recusal, Sessions appears to be using his formal powers as the nation's top law enforcement officer and his bully pulpit to shield the president by discrediting his own department's investigations.

Others said that Rosenstein hadn't done anything wrong by saying he was on the president's team.

Added Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee: "The release of this memo by House Intelligence Committee Republicans and the White House, over the objections of the and the Department of Justice, is reckless and demonstrates an astonishing disregard for the truth". I think he recognizes that by now because that's what got him Mueller.

"I personally like Rod Rosenstein, but the bottom line is Mr. Rosenstein, Attorney General Sessions and [FBI Director Chris A.] Wray have work to do", Nunes said.

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