Donald Trump has spent the past year and a half claiming that Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation is a witch hunt, but his own deputy attorney publicly shredded that lie on Wednesday in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
According to the report, “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference as ‘appropriate and independent,’ a message that contrasts with President Trump’s description of the inquiry as a ‘witch hunt’ and ‘rigged.'”
The Journal reported that Rod Rosenstein put forward a “forceful defense of the inquiry, saying the public would have faith in its findings.”
“[A]t the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence, and that it was an appropriate use of resources,” Rosenstein told the newspaper.
More from The Wall Street Journal interview:
“People are entitled to be frustrated, I can accept that,” he said, in a nod to attacks on the probe from some conservatives and Republicans. “But at the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence, and that it was an appropriate use of resources.”
Mr. Rosenstein said the investigation has already revealed a widespread effort by Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, an assertion that has been played down by Mr. Trump and repeatedly called into question by other members of the administration.
“I have a solemn responsibility to make sure that cases like that are pursued and prosecuted, and I’m pleased the president has been supportive of that,” Mr. Rosenstein said.
“I committed I would ensure the investigation was appropriate and independent and reached the right result, whatever it may be,” Mr. Rosenstein said, referring to comments he made during his confirmation hearing. “I believe I have been faithful to that.”
Rosenstein’s days are likely numbered
There was a lot of hype last month that perhaps Trump was on the verge of firing Rod Rosenstein after it was reported that the deputy attorney general discussed removing the president via the 25th amendment and even suggested secretly recording him.
As The Wall Street Journal pointed out on Wednesday, though, a discussion with Trump last week aboard Air Force One seems to have smoothed things over – for now.
Trump has suggested that after the midterm elections, he will be making some major changes at the Department of Justice, and it’s likely that Rod Rosenstein – in addition to attorney general Jeff Sessions – will be at the top of that list.
Rosenstein’s strong and public defense of Robert Mueller’s investigation isn’t going to do him any favors.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.