Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — who is overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and has been a target of criticism from President Trump — was involved in the decision to conduct an FBI raid Monday to seize the records of Trump’s personally attorney Michael Cohen, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
The report was based on three government officials.
Separately, ABC News reported that interim U.S. Attorney for New York’s Southern District, Geoffrey Berman, whose office led the raid, has recused himself from the investigation. Rosenstein signed off on Berman’s recusal, ABC News reported.
Berman, a former law partner at Rudy Giuliani’s firm, was personally interviewed for the gig by Trump last year.
Trump has publicly bashed Rosenstein, and according to the New York Times, privately mused about firing him last summer, around the same time he considered firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He reportedly backed down from firing Mueller when his White House Counsel Don McGahn refused to carry the directive out.
After news of the raid broke Monday afternoon, Trump fumed at Mueller, Rosenstein and at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is recused from the Russia probe.
Asked if he’d seek to fire Mueller, which would require going through Rosenstein, Trump appeared to leave the door open.
“I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on. We’ll see what happens,” Trump said.