Dem senators grilled Rosenstein on Russia probe, Comey firing: report

Dem senators grilled Rosenstein on Russia probe, Comey firing: report
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Sens. Al FrankenAl FrankenFranken, Perry clash over climate change Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief Dems urge Sessions to reject AT&T-Time Warner merger MORE (D-Minn.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandBipartisan senators seek to boost expertise in military justice system Mattis gaining power in Trump’s Cabinet What do Democrats stand for? MORE (D-N.Y.) grilled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over FBI Director James Comey's firing and the Russia investigation during a closed-door briefing Thursday, The Washington Post reported

The pair questioned Rosenstein on Attorney General Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsGingrich: Media was right, special elections were a referendum Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief Overnight Tech: Uber CEO resigns | Trump's Iowa tech trip | Dems push Sessions to block AT&T-Time Warner deal | Lawmakers warned on threat to election systems | MORE’s involvement in Comey’s firing last week and on the scope of the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Franken’s spokesman told the Post he “was passionate about getting to the bottom of what happened.”

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“They weren’t inappropriate, they were asking strong questions that were strongly felt,” a senator told the Post, characterizing the two as “passionate.”

“I didn’t think anybody was inappropriate.”

Rosenstein was also pressed on Sessions’s role in selecting a new FBI director, and on how former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel will affect the Russia investigation.

The deputy attorney general’s hotly anticipated meeting with senators came less than 24 hours after he appointed Mueller.

Rosenstein reportedly confirmed that the FBI’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 race is now both a criminal and counterintelligence investigation.

Lawmakers present also confirmed that Rosenstein said he was aware President Trump intended to fire Comey before he penned a memo that the White House later used to justify the move.

Comey’s ouster came amid the FBI’s probe into Russian election intrusions last year, including possible ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign.