Jun 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Rod Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment at hearing on Russia probe

Rod Rosenstein
Rod Rosenstein. Photo: Greg Nash/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is testifying Wednesday before the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the origins of the Russia investigation amid allegations of misconduct by law enforcement.

The big picture: Rosenstein, the first witness to testify in the investigation led by Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, defended his decision to appoint special counsel Robert Mueller after President Trump fired FBI director James Comey in an opening statement.

  • Rosenstein argued that appointing a special counsel was the best way to ensure public confidence into the Justice Department's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
  • He also acknowledged that there were "significant errors" in the FBI's applications for wiretaps on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, but said that each application that he approved "appeared to be justified based on the facts that it alleged" at the time.

Read Rosenstein's opening statement.

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