Rosenstein to testify as part of Graham's Russia investigation probe

Rosenstein to testify as part of Graham's Russia investigation probe
© Greg Nash

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinFBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Sally Yates to testify as part of GOP probe into Russia investigation Graham releases newly declassified documents on Russia probe MORE will testify next week as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee's probe into the origins of the FBI's Russia investigation, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamObama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements Trump putting TikTok ban on hold for 45 days: report This week: Negotiators hunt for coronavirus deal as August break looms MORE (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.

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“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 DurhamJohn Durham4 reasons why Trump can't be written off — yet 'Unmasking' Steele dossier source: Was confidentiality ever part of the deal? Democrats blister Barr during tense hearing MORE 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

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First, he authored the memo Trump initially used to fire former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyThis week: Negotiators hunt for coronavirus deal as August break looms FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Sally Yates to testify as part of GOP probe into Russia investigation MORE. After Comey's firing, Rosenstein subsequently appointed former FBI Director 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 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 CohenMichael Dean CohenOn The Money: Democratic leaders report 'some progress' in stimulus talks | Prosecutors hint at probe into 'possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization' Prosecutors hint at probe into 'possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization' Federal appeals court rejects Stormy Daniels libel case against Trump MORE

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 GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  Republicans dismiss Trump proposal to delay election Timeline for GOP's Obama probe report slips as chairman eyes subpoenas MORE (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.