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Rosenstein says Mueller probe is 'appropriate and independent'

Rosenstein says Mueller probe is 'appropriate and independent'
© Greg Nash

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump turns his ire toward Cabinet members Ex-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. 'will ignore' Trump's threats against political rivals The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House MORE on Wednesday defended special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting MORE's investigation as "appropriate and independent" as President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE continues to attack the probe as a "witch hunt."

Rosenstein made the remarks during an interview with the Wall Street Journal, just weeks after reports emerged that he was going to leave his post at the Justice Department. He has remained in his position.

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Mueller told the Journal that Mueller's probe has already revealed wide-ranging efforts by Russia to sow discord and meddle in the 2016 presidential election. 

“I committed I would ensure the investigation was appropriate and independent and reached the right result, whatever it may be,” Rosenstein said. “I believe I have been faithful to that.”

The president and GOP lawmakers have continued to escalate attacks on Mueller's investigation, accusing investigators of bias against Trump. 

“People are entitled to be frustrated, I can accept that,” Rosenstein told the Journal. “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 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,” he added.

Rosenstein during the interview declined to discuss the reports that he was either planning to resign from his position at the Justice Department or Trump was planning to fire him. 

"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."

The deputy attorney general rarely sits down for interviews, even as the president has publicly attacked him and his role in Mueller's investigation. 

He would not say when the probe is likely to be completed, the Journal reported. 

Multiple GOP lawmakers have threatened to subpoena Rosenstein over a New York Times report that he once considered wearing a wire to record President Trump.  

Rosenstein and the Justice Department have fiercely disputed the Times report. NBC News reported that some officials defended the comments as a joke.

Mueller is reportedly expected to present findings related to key aspects of his investigation after this November's midterm elections, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday