Senate GOPer Raises Recusal Issue In Letter To Rod Rosenstein

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks on why alleged attacker in New York should be held as enemy combatant during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) wants to know if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — who’s overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — is serving as a witness in the probe, and if so, whether he should recuse himself from overseeing it.

Graham’s queries came in a letter to Rosenstein dated May 31. Graham told Fox News he sent it after a New York Times report on a memo then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote about Rosenstein’s involvement in former FBI Director Jim Comey’s firing. McCabe has turned over his memo to Mueller, who is investigating Comey’s termination as part of an obstruction of justice probe.

“Do you consider yourself a potential witness in the Mueller investigation regarding the firing of Director Comey by President Trump?” Graham’s letter asks Rosenstein. “If not, why not?

“If so, should you recuse yourself from further interactions with and oversight of the Mueller investigation?”

Graham, on Fox News, pointed to the memo that Rosenstein wrote on Comey that Trump used as justification for firing Comey. (Rosenstein has said in Congressional testimony that his memo — which focused on Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe — was “not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination,” but has defended his at-times scathing assessment of Comey’s actions.)

“You can’t oversee an investigation where you’re going to be a witness in that investigation,” Graham said, later adding that he was also skeptical Rosenstein could oversee any investigation into a surveillance warrant that the FBI sought on an ex-Trump campaign advisor, since Rosenstein signed off on some of the warrant applications.

Graham reiterated his belief the Mueller should do his investigaton without interference.

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