Rosenstein dodges House Judiciary interview -- for now

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will not appear on Capitol Hill this week to answer questions about r...

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 11:57 AM
Updated: Oct 11, 2018 11:57 AM

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will not appear on Capitol Hill this week to answer questions about reports that he discussed wearing a wire to secretly record President Donald Trump, avoiding for now a high-stakes session with lawmakers over a topic that nearly led to his ouster as the No. 2 official at the Justice Department.

Rosenstein had been tentatively scheduled to appear Thursday amid demands from Republicans, but that meeting has now been delayed, according to two sources familiar with the matter. It's not yet clear when it will be rescheduled, as negotiations have been ongoing over whether it will be a transcribed interview or a more informal meeting.

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Investigations

James Baker

Law and legal system

Political Figures - US

Politics

Rod Rosenstein

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

US Congress

Conservatism

Government bodies and offices

Political organizations

Society

US federal government

US House of Representatives

US political parties

US Republican Party

White House

"We have many questions for Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and expect answers to those questions," a House Judiciary aide said. "There is not at this time a confirmed date for a potential meeting. Nevertheless, we will continue to provide updates as we have them."

On Monday, Trump said he has no plans to fire Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller's work on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The delay in meeting with lawmakers -- which raises doubts about whether Rosenstein will speak to them before the midterm elections next month -- prompted public frustration from members of the House Freedom Caucus toward House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican who was negotiating with the Justice Department to bring in Rosenstein.

"It is disappointing Rod Rosenstein will not be answering questions before Congress tomorrow—to put it mildly," Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican who's the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said in a statement Wednesday. "The Deputy Attorney General owes the American people answers about whether he participated in any conversations or decisions seeking to undermine President Trump's administration from within. There is reason to be deeply concerned he did."

Without mentioning Goodlatte directly, Meadows added, "Failure to compel testimony on these questions would amount to a dereliction of duty on the part of Congress."

Pushing the meeting until after the midterms would be helpful to Rosenstein, who otherwise would be forced into an awkward position of having to re-litigate the context of his remarks after a détente with the President earlier this week. House Freedom Caucus leaders have been pressing for a transcribed interview with Rosenstein, not just a meeting with him to explain his comments.

Rep. Matt Gaetz tweeted Wednesday that he had flown from Florida to Washington to speak to Rosenstein before learning it had been postponed.

"Chairman Goodlatte has been playing 'hide and seek' with some of us on the interview scheduling for several weeks now," Gaetz tweeted. "You'd think after the former FBI top lawyer said the current Deputy Attorney General was serious about overthrowing the President that we might issue a subpoena ... hold a hearing ... conduct oversight ... actually do our job. That would be a refreshing change for Congress."

Yet congressional investigators continue to speak with other witnesses about the dispute over exactly what Rosenstein intended.

Former FBI General Counsel James Baker told investigators that in the aftermath of FBI Director James Comey's firing, two of his colleagues approached him about what happened in a meeting at the Justice Department where Rosenstein had discussed wearing a wire over to record Trump, according to a source familiar with his interview.

Baker testified last week that his memory was fuzzy on the details of the conversation and he was not in the meeting with Rosenstein, the source said, but it was his impression that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who were in the meeting with Rosenstein, believed the deputy attorney general was serious. They were concerned about Trump obstructing justice after the President fired Comey, the source added -- explaining that Baker depicted a time in which tensions were running high.

After the reports first surfaced last month, Rosenstein said: "I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false." Another source in the meeting where the wire remark was made told CNN it was sarcastic.

Moreover, the idea, Baker testified, was quickly dismissed as implausible and not acted on, according to the source familiar with his testimony.

Baker's comments to congressional investigators last week were first reported by Fox News and The Hill.

This source said it was unclear who else was in the room for Rosenstein's remarks than former Associate Deputy Attorney General Scott Schools, with whom Capitol Hill investigators have not yet spoken. Page was not asked about this matter when she met with the committees earlier this year.

While the meeting with Rosenstein is off for now, the congressional committees are moving forward with their next interviews: Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson is scheduled to speak to congressional investigators next Tuesday, and Nellie Ohr, who was a contractor for Fusion, next Friday.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 72254

Reported Deaths: 3023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15503725
Lake7447274
Elkhart476082
Allen3789161
St. Joseph337381
Hamilton2668105
Vanderburgh188813
Hendricks1833106
Cass17749
Johnson1719118
Porter126639
Clark117846
Tippecanoe117711
Madison91565
LaPorte88330
Howard87265
Kosciusko84012
Marshall77122
Bartholomew76647
Floyd76045
Monroe72230
Delaware70152
Dubois67612
Boone66246
Noble65929
Hancock64138
Vigo58610
Jackson5725
Warrick57030
LaGrange55610
Shelby54227
Grant52130
Dearborn49328
Morgan45934
Clinton4093
Henry37320
Wayne35410
White35410
Montgomery34821
Lawrence33627
Decatur33232
Harrison32123
Putnam2868
Miami2672
Daviess26320
Scott26310
Greene24634
Franklin23813
Jasper2272
DeKalb2264
Jennings22012
Gibson2144
Steuben2063
Ripley1977
Fayette1837
Perry18112
Carroll1772
Starke1767
Posey1670
Orange16624
Wabash1633
Wells1622
Fulton1612
Jefferson1552
Whitley1506
Knox1490
Tipton1336
Spencer1313
Washington1311
Huntington1213
Newton11510
Randolph1154
Clay1095
Sullivan1031
Adams952
Jay860
Owen841
Pulaski761
Rush744
Brown731
Fountain682
Blackford622
Ohio624
Benton600
Pike520
Parke511
Vermillion500
Switzerland450
Crawford440
Martin430
Union370
Warren221
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 98675

Reported Deaths: 3652
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18006522
Cuyahoga13269498
Hamilton9493253
Lucas5207321
Montgomery422991
Summit3486220
Marion291945
Butler286163
Mahoning2502255
Pickaway238042
Stark1783139
Warren174238
Lorain171378
Columbiana163460
Trumbull1500106
Fairfield133231
Delaware127319
Licking122449
Clark113314
Lake108738
Wood101358
Clermont90211
Medina89635
Miami81938
Tuscarawas77214
Portage74661
Allen71844
Greene66212
Belmont61426
Richland59611
Mercer59113
Erie56427
Ashtabula55946
Geauga55244
Wayne52558
Ross4504
Huron3935
Darke38527
Ottawa37126
Sandusky36816
Athens3561
Hancock3553
Madison35310
Holmes3276
Lawrence2670
Auglaize2446
Union2371
Scioto2221
Muskingum2211
Jefferson2192
Putnam20217
Washington20022
Knox1997
Seneca1963
Coshocton1906
Shelby1864
Preble1802
Crawford1725
Morrow1682
Hardin16112
Champaign1592
Clinton1586
Highland1481
Fulton1471
Logan1452
Wyandot1428
Ashland1403
Defiance1394
Williams1323
Brown1262
Perry1213
Guernsey1167
Henry1152
Hocking1159
Carroll1105
Fayette1100
Monroe9118
Pike760
Jackson730
Van Wert711
Paulding650
Gallia621
Adams592
Meigs360
Vinton302
Morgan250
Harrison241
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 68°
Angola
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 63°
Huntington
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 65°
Decatur
63° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 63°
Van Wert
63° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 63°
Sunny, Seasonable Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events