Tags: Russia Probe | rod rosenstein | special counsel | robert mueller | appropriate | independent

Rosenstein Defends Mueller Probe as 'Appropriate,' 'Independent'

deputy attorney general rod rosenstein speaks at a podium
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 October 2018 07:44 PM

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is reportedly standing by the special counsel's investigation into Russian election meddling as both "appropriate and independent."

In a rare interview with The Wall Street Journal posted Wednesday, Rosenstein's message is a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump's frequent criticism of the probe as a "witch hunt" and "rigged."

"People are entitled to be frustrated, I can accept that," Rosenstein told the Journal about attacks on the investigation. "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."

"I believe that our department and our office have been appropriately managing that investigation," he added.

He also lauded the probe's revelation of a widespread effort by Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

"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," Rosenstein said.

The special counsel's office has charged more than two dozen Russian nationals over their roles in the 2016 campaign, the Journal noted.

"I committed I would ensure the investigation was appropriate and independent and reached the right result, whatever it may be," he said, referring to comments he made during his confirmation hearing, the Journal reported. "I believe I have been faithful to that."

Though Rosenstein's relationship with Trump has been fraught amid the ongoing Mueller probe, Trump has declared he is not aiming to fire Rosenstein — though he is expected to make changes at the Justice Department after next month's midterm elections, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' departure widely anticipated, the Journal noted.

Rosenstein declined any discussion with the Journal about his controversial reported suggestion to secretly record the president.

"The president knows that I am prepared to do this job as long as he wants me to do this job," he said. "You serve at the pleasure of the president, and there's never been any ambiguity about that in my mind."

His aim, according to the Journal: Aggressive prosecutions of drug offenses, gun crimes, and immigration violations. 

"I try very hard to ignore media speculation about what we're doing and focus instead on what were actually doing," Rosenstein said. "We sit down every day and we work toward the goals of the department and try to ignore the inevitable attention in the media."

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Standing by the special counsel's investigation into Russian election meddling, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein called it both "appropriate and independent" in a rare interview with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
rod rosenstein, special counsel, robert mueller, appropriate, independent
Wednesday, 17 October 2018 07:44 PM
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