Rosenstein to testify as part of Graham’s Russia investigation probe
Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will testify next week as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s probe into the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced on Wednesday.
The hearing, scheduled for June 3, marks the first public hearing Graham will hold as part of his deep dive into “Crossfire Hurricane,” the name for the investigation into Russia’s 2016 election interference and the Trump campaign.
Graham said that Rosenstein will speak about “new revelations” included in Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz’s report on surveillance warrant applications tied to former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Rosenstein, who was interviewed as part of Horowitz’s investigation, signed off on the third Page warrant renewal application.
“This will be the first in a series of oversight hearings regarding all things Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller investigation,” Graham said.
Rosenstein, in a statement, confirmed that he would testify.
“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,” he said.
Rosenstein left the Justice Department last year after two years in the Trump administration. He had increasingly become a target of the president’s ire.
The Senate easily confirmed Rosenstein to the Justice Department’s No. 2 role in a 94-6 vote, but he quickly became a source of controversy.
First, he authored the memo Trump initially used to fire former FBI Director James Comey. After Comey’s firing, Rosenstein subsequently appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russia’s election meddling and the Trump campaign.
His role made him a target for Republicans on Capitol Hill and led to a showdown with House conservatives who floated impeaching him, saying he stonewalled their documents request. Trump allies also targeted him after the FBI raided the residence and hotel room of the president’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
He could face tough questions from Senate Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, who have grown increasingly skeptical about the decision to appoint Mueller as a special counsel.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chaired the Judiciary Committee for part of Rosenstein’s tenure, knocked him during a floor speech earlier this month.
“Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein agreed to give me documents and he never did. He blamed Director Coats who then blamed Rosenstein,” Grassley said.
The Judiciary Committee hearing comes a day before the panel is scheduled to vote on a wide-ranging subpoena that would call for documents and interviews with dozens of former and current administration officials, including Comey, Rosenstein and other big names like former national security adviser Susan Rice and Attorney General William Barr.
A spokesperson for Graham confirmed that Rosenstein’s agreement to testify will remove him from the subpoena.
– Morgan Chalfant contributed to this report, which was updated at 2:19 p.m.