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White House

Rosenstein Has Botched the Mueller Probe

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the Justice Department, October 2017. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

As I noted on The Editors this week, seeing the thrust of the Mueller questions for a prospective Trump interview had a radicalizing effect on my view of the investigation. I wrote about it today at Politico:

…current Justice Department guidance says the president can’t be indicted. If Mueller takes heed of it, he is limited to indicting underlings—often for lying to the FBI—and writing reports on his findings, with Congress the most important consumer.

This means Mueller is, in effect, the lead investigative counsel for a prospective House impeachment committee. It’s an important position, just not one that should be housed within the executive branch. Should they win the House in the fall, Nancy Pelosi and her fellow leaders would be fully within their rights to create an impeachment committee and hire a bevy of investigators.

Such a move would set up an appropriate clash between the executive and legislative branches, rather than the current perverse situation, which involves a part of the executive branch working very aggressively to cue up Nancy Pelosi on impeachment for next year.

It is ultimately Rod Rosenstein who is responsible for the state of the investigation. On the merits, he should be fired and replaced by someone willing to exercise proper oversight of the special counsel, beginning by forbidding him from seeking an interview with the president on the current grounds or issuing a subpoena for his testimony.


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