Rod Rosenstein Confirms He Will Testify June 3: ‘Even the Best Law Enforcement Officers Make Mistakes’

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein listens during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Oversight on Capitol Hill December 13, 2017 in Washington, DC.
AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that he will be testifying next week to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Obama administration’s investigation into the Trump campaign, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane.

Rosenstein said in a statement sent to journalists:

I am grateful to Chairman Graham for the opportunity to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about information that has come to light concerning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process and the FBI’s counterintelligence decision-making, as a result of completed inquiries by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and ongoing reviews by U.S. Attorneys John Durham and Jeff Jensen.

During my three decades of service in law enforcement, I learned firsthand that most local, state, and federal law enforcement officers deserve the high confidence people place in them, but also that even the best law enforcement officers make mistakes, and that some engage in willful misconduct. Independent law enforcement investigations, judicial review, and congressional oversight are important checks on the discretion of agents and prosecutors. We can only hope to maintain public confidence if we correct mistakes, hold wrongdoers accountable, and adopt policies to prevent problems from recurring.

Rosenstein is the first of a long lists of witnesses Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) intends to call as part of his long-promised investigation into the Obama administration’s actions during the investigation.

“This will be the first in a series of oversight hearings regarding all things Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller investigation,” Graham said in a statement.

Graham told radio show host Hugh Hewitt Thursday morning that he wanted to ask Rosenstein about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant application he signed against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Graham said:

I want to ask him if he knew then what you know now, if you knew the Russian sub-source that disavowed the dossier, which was the key document to get the warrant and against Carter Page, if he disavowed it in January 2017, would you have signed the application in June of 2017 knowing there was no there there?

In January, 2017, when the sub-source came to the FBI, the Russian who gave Steele all the information and said this is bar talk, this is a bunch of hearsay, the question for me is how does that not go up to the top of the FBI? We’re talking about investigating a sitting president’s campaign. How is it possible that the leadership of the FBI and the Department of Justice doesn’t hear?

Graham said he would also call former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI agents Joe Pientka and Stephen Somma, who was in charge of FISA warrants sought on Trump campaign aides. He said he also wanted to talk to former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates again.

As far as former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud, and DOD contractor and alleged FBI and CIA informant Stefan Halper, Graham said he did not know whether he would subpoena them.

Graham said, “I can’t get in the way of a [Attorney General John] Durham investigation. So he has first dibs on any witness.”

He indicated he would ask them about surveillance on then-incoming National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Flynn, whose case he said should have been dropped by now.

“Number one, Flynn’s the incoming national security advisor. He has every right to be talking to the Russian ambassador. Why are we surveilling the incoming administration by the outgoing administration?” he said.


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