Rosenstein Shows Support For Mueller Inquiry Despite Republican Criticism
WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday downplayed Republican lawmakers’ concerns that attorneys and agents investigating Russian alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election might be biased against President Trump.
Republicans on the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee ramped up their attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is heading the federal investigation, at a hearing.
Republicans said they had reviewed more than 300 anti-Trump text messages exchanged last year between an FBI agent and an attorney who worked on Mueller’s probe.
But Rosenstein said Mueller properly removed the agent, Peter Strzok, from the probe after the texts were brought to light by the Justice Department’s inspector general and added he was confident that Mueller was not letting bias seep into the investigation.
When asked at one point by the committee’s ranking Democrat whether he had any good cause for firing Mueller, he replied: “No.”
Members of the committee released the contents of some of the text messages between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
In the texts, Trump is referred to as an “utter idiot” and “loathsome human,” according to the committee’s chairman Bob Goodlatte.
Democrats downplayed the texts and other complaints, saying there was no evidence of bias.
“Peter Strzok did not say anything about Donald Trump that the majority of Americans weren’t also thinking at the same time,” said the committee’s top Democrat, Jerrold Nadler.