Ex-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. 'will ignore' Trump's threats against political rivals

Former 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 says he expects the Justice Department to “ignore the President’s threats against his political opponents.”

Rosenstein reacted to President TrumpDonald John TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE's comments this week pushing Attorney General William BarrBill BarrSeattle, Portland, NYC sue Trump administration over threat to pull federal money Trump says he doesn't actually want Whitmer, Biden and Obama to be locked up despite chants Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo MORE to produce results in the probe into how the Obama administration initially investigated the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia in 2016.

“The Department of Justice will ignore the President's threats against his political opponents, as it has in the past, because prosecutors who take an oath to support and defend the Constitution must uphold the rule of law,” Rosenstein tweeted late Friday.


The former top Justice Department official weighed in following Trump's interview with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Friday, during which the president blasted the delayed report into the Russia probe as "a disgrace" and "embarrassment" and said he'd be willing to confront Barr "to his face."

"See, this is what I mean with the Republicans. They don’t play the tough game. They don’t play the tough game. If this were the other side, you would have had 25 people in jail for the rest of their lives with what we found. That’s a disgrace," Trump said.

Trump also chastised Barr as well as Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTreasury sanctions Iran's ambassador to Iraq Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning House lawmakers call for continued assistance to Lebanon MORE and FBI Director Christopher Wray over the Russia investigation and the 2016 election during a phone interview on Fox Business on Thursday, his first interview since being diagnosed with COVID-19 last week.

The president sought to ramp up pressure on the officials to levy punishments for former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Trump, Biden tangle over Wall Street ties, fundraising The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage MORE over her use of a private email server and for other Obama administration officials for opening a probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, among other actions.

In response to the interview, Pompeo said Friday that he expects the State Department to release more of Clinton's emails before the election. He did not specify exactly which emails he was referring to, though Trump and his allies have railed against Clinton for keeping official emails with classified information on her personal server. 


“We’re doing it as fast as we can. I certainly think there’ll be more to see before the election,” Pompeo said on Fox News.

Meanwhile, Republicans are currently overseeing multiple investigations in the Senate, including probing the Justice Department’s investigation into Russia’s meddling and GOP claims it was improperly conducted, probes that Democrats have said are intended to help Trump win reelection.

Trump appointed Rosenstein to serve as deputy attorney general in February 2017, shortly after entering office. Rosenstein later appointed special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE to lead the federal Russia probe after Trump fired former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Trump remarks put pressure on Barr Ex-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. 'will ignore' Trump's threats against political rivals MORE.

Mueller wrapped up his nearly two-year investigation into the Trump campaign and its contacts with Russian officials in March 2019. The investigation concluded that while Russia actively tried to help Trump win the 2016 election, campaign aides were either unaware or not fully receptive to the efforts.

The special counsel said he did not reach a conclusion on the question of obstruction, though Barr later said that he and Rosenstein reviewed the evidence laid out in the report and found it insufficient to accuse the president of obstructing the probe.