Rod Rosenstein Defends Mueller Probe as Appropriate and Independent

Rod Rosenstein Defends Mueller Probe as \Appropriate and Independent\

Rod Rosenstein: We have been very busy at DOJ

President Trumps lawyers have not yet reached a deal with Special Counsel Robert Muellers team to submit written answers to questions on Russian meddling and possible collusion

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is set to issue findings of some of the core aspects of his investigation into the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia shortly after the November midterm elections, Bloomberg reported.

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The outlet, citing two anonymous U.S. officials, reported that Mueller is finalizing the conclusions related to the questions on whether President Trump’s campaign cooperated with Russia and whether he took any actions that could constitute obstruction of justice.

Asked about the timeline, two sources close to the president's legal team told Fox News they also believe the Mueller probe is "winding down."

It’s possible that Mueller’s finding won’t be made public if he doesn’t secure unsealed indictments, according to Bloomberg. The findings will be provided to his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The Mueller team is currently facing increased scrutiny from both sides, with calls to either shut down the investigation or produce more indictments.

Rosenstein reportedly indicated he wants to end the probe as soon as possible, while president Trump is a frequent critic of the investigation, calling it a “witch hunt.”

Many speculate that if the probe continues any longer it may only lead to Trump shutting the investigation down himself.

Trump has recently floated the idea of replacing both Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, two men who hold positions that can influence the Mueller probe.

The president hasn’t yet spoken with Mueller concerning the potential collusion Russia. The Mueller team reportedly submitted written questions to the president, but the negotiations are still ongoing.

But it appears that the delivery of the findings won’t be the end of Mueller and the probe will continue in some form, according to Bloomberg.

The Mueller team is yet to finish the dealings with Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. He will be sentenced on Dec. 18.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion, violations of campaign finance laws and bank fraud, reportedly spoke with the Mueller team concerning Trump and his business dealings in Russia.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, has also struck a plea deal that includes cooperation with Mueller amid his conviction of bank fraud and false tax returns, among other charges.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said on Wednesday that the special counsel Robert Muellers Russia investigation has already revealed an elaborate and widespread effort by the Russians to meddle in the 2016 US election.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Rosenstein said, “I have a solemn responsibility to make sure that cases like that are pursued and prosecuted, and Im pleased the president has been supportive of that.”

President Donald Trump, whose campaign is at the center of the Russia probe, frequently derides the investigation as a politically motivated “hoax” and a “witch hunt.” To date, he and his Republican allies in Congress have spearheaded several efforts — many of which have been successful — to force the Justice Department to disclose sensitive information about the investigation and who its targeting.

In addition to investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favor, Mueller is also examining whether Trump sought to obstruct justice at various points throughout the inquiry.

Trump has made numerous public and private attempts to exert more influence over the investigation, at one point reportedly wondering why “my guys” at the “Trump Justice Department” werent protecting him from scrutiny.

Trump also often gripes about Attorney General Jeff Sessions decision to recuse himself from overseeing the investigation last year, after it emerged that he had not been forthcoming during his confirmation hearing about his contacts with Russians during the campaign.

Sessions is widely rumored to be leaving after the November midterm elections, and Trump is expected to clean house at the DOJ then as well.

Meanwhile, Rosensteins own job hangs in the balance following a New York Times report that said the deputy attorney general suggested secretly recording Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office shortly after Trump fired then FBI director James Comey last year.

Rosenstein vehemently denied the claim, and subsequent media reports also cast some doubt on the veracity of The Times reporting. Still, Rosenstein reportedly offered to resign multiple times after the report came out because he wanted to avoid being fired and wanted to leave on amicable terms.

Things between Trump and Rosenstein seemed to simmer down a bit after they met aboard Air Force One last week.

Though Rosenstein declined to discuss the allegations or his conversations with Trump, he told The Journal, “The president knows that I am prepared to do this job as long as he wants me to do this job. You serve at the pleasure of the president, and theres never been any ambiguity about that in my mind.”

Rosenstein has long been a key target of Trumps ire as the president complains that he is not doing enough to rein in Mueller. Trump was also infuriated when it emerged in April that Rosenstein greenlit an FBI raid of his former longtime lawyer Michael Cohens property.

“I believe that our department and our office have been appropriately managing that investigation,” Rosenstein told The Journal, referring to the Russia probe.

His interview with the outlet came after Bloomberg reported earlier Wednesday that Rosenstein has been pressuring Mueller to wrap up the Russia investigation.

Two US officials told Bloomberg that Mueller is expected to deliver his key findings shortly after the midterms. But legal experts say that while Mueller appears close to tying up the obstruction thread, he likely wont be finished with the collusion thread by November.

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