Rosenstein Says Special Counsel in Trump Case Means DOJ Thinks it Has a Case


    Former Attorney General Deputy Rod Rosenstein said Sunday on “Face the Nation” that the appointment of the special counsel to supervise federal investigations into former president Donald Trump showed the Department of Justice believes that it has a “viable potential case” against Trump.

    BRENNAN: The question is: I'd like to start right now. In light of the fact that the former president is starting his campaign, and because the current president could be a candidate for president as well. The attorney general stated that it's essential to have a special counsel supervise an investigation of the secret documents discovered in Mar a Lago and what transpired when trying to alter what happens in the next presidential election. If you were in the previous role and you were in that position, would you have appointed an attorney general?

    ROSENSTEIN: Well it's simple to make a second guess when you're not in the department. I'm not sure exactly what Merrick Garland has in mind, and what information was accessible to him. He didn't mention that he had to nominate an attorney special. He stated that he believed this was the correct decision. I was convinced, given the circumstances I was confronted with in determining that the appointment of Robert Mueller was the right decision to make with respect to the Russia investigation. However, I believe that in this instance, Merrick Garland clearly made an unintentional decision. The department was handling this for the past two years. The department could have continued to manage it by itself. However, he believed this would boost confidence from the public. It remains to be determined if that's the situation.

    ROSENSTEIN: I've stated, it's very easy to make a second guess from afar. I'm sure, but my general inclination in light of the fact that the investigation was ongoing for a long time and the point at which they've reached is that I would not have done it, but I'm unable to determine from afar.

    BRENNAN: From your perspective, do you think the selection of a special counsel signals at a minimum a desire on Merrick Garland's side to proceed with an investigation or is that interpreting the decision?

    ROSENSTEIN: I believe what is clear is that regardless of the fact that the department has been involved for a while, nearly two years after the investigation of January 6, it's the Mar a Lago investigation that they are still convinced that they have a legitimate investigation. That doesn't mean they've made a decision to move forward. It's certainly an indication that they believe there's a chance.


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