Rosenstein: I'm satisfied with Mueller's work in Russia probe

Rosenstein: I'm satisfied with Mueller's work in Russia probe
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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in an interview with an NBC affiliate in Maryland published Wednesday that he is satisfied with special counsel Robert Mueller's work in the investigation into Russia's election interference.

Rosenstein told the News4 I-Team that he could not go into detail, but gave an affirmative response when asked if he was satisfied. 

“When we conduct criminal investigations — just as was true in Maryland — we don’t talk about the investigation while it’s ongoing," he said.

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"So what the American people will see is only if and when a case is charged. And there are several cases that have been charged to date,” he said.

Rosenstein appointed the special counsel in May and has the authority to fire him.

He said the special counsel has a "degree of autonomy from the Department of Justice."

"But there is appropriate oversight by the department," he told NBC4.

"That includes budget. But it also includes certain other details of the office. It is part of the Department of Justice. And we’re accountable for it,” he said.

Rosenstein appointed the special counsel after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat House passes concealed carry gun bill Rosenstein to testify before House Judiciary Committee next week MORE recused himself from the federal investigation into Russia's efforts to interfere in the election.

Last week, former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents in one of the most dramatic developments yet in Mueller's investigation.

As part of the plea agreement, Flynn has agreed to cooperate fully with the investigation. For the time being, at least, he will remain free — although the charge he faces carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

A campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, has also pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and is cooperating with Mueller's team.

Two other campaign officials, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his aide Richard Gates, also face charges in the investigation. They have both pleaded not guilty.

Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russia and has in the past referred to the Russia investigation as a "witch hunt."

In recent days, Trump has also taken to attacking the FBI.

Over the weekend, Trump tweeted that he had to fire Flynn because he lied to the vice president and the FBI, adding that Flynn's actions during the transition were "lawful."

In another tweet, Trump said people are asking what the Justice Department is "going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and 'acid washed' 33,000 Emails? No justice!"

He also claimed he never asked former FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating Flynn and said the FBI's reputation is in "tatters" after years of Comey running it.