Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s request for an Inspector General investigation seems to have raised more questions than it has answered.
Hours after President Trump demanded a probe into whether former President Obama’s FBI and Department of Justice used questionable tactics to spy on his campaign, Rosenstein asked Inspector General Horowitz to launch an investigation.
But asking Horowitz to step in appears to be a calculated move by Rosenstein and not necessarily an effort to endorse Trump’s demands, or even get to the truth.
“Here’s the problem with Mr. Horowitz. He cannot interview any of the people who have left the Department of Justice or FBI,” Former US Attorney Joe DiGenova said on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Monday.
“He has no subpoena authority. So all of the people who were part of the plot and were in DOJ and FBI are gone,” he added. “He can’t talk to them.”
So with no authority to subpoena former Obama employees, the inspector general’s power is limited. Rosenstein must also have known this would be another probe that could last months.
Trump held a meeting at the White House Monday with Rosenstein, FBI Director Chris Wray and Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats. Fed up with the stonewalling, the president called for the an investigation into the FBI and DOJ’s actions related to his campaign.
The Justice Department also agreed to hand over to Congress documents that have been requested by the House Intelligence Committee related to the FBI’s role in the campaign.
JUST IN: DOJ asks Inspector General to investigate possible political motivation during the origin of Russia probe. pic.twitter.com/5dmfcolEh5
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) May 20, 2018
Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows slammed the entire request for investigation by Rosenstein as a “ruse.”
Rod Rosenstein knows exactly what happened and what is in the documents requested by Congress. Either the matter warranted investigation long ago and he did nothing, or he’s seen the facts and believes nothing is wrong.
His belated referral to the IG is not news… it is a ruse https://t.co/qd75MWRzXD
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) May 21, 2018
Rosenstein could not have been ignorant of the contents of the documents as he authorized the fourth FISA application renewal to spy on former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page.
Investigative reporter, Sara Carter, noted the possible motives behind the decision by Rosenstein.
A never-ending investigation at this point would allow the DOJ, which has stonewalled Congress for more than a year, to bury the documents in yet another ongoing investigation that will be out of sight of the public and then, like many things in Washington, buried in the swampy waters never to be seen again.
“The most crucial aspect of the meeting will be the House Intelligence Committee’s request for classified documents connected to the FISA application to spy on Carter Page and whether the President will demand the DOJ turn them over,” Carter wrote. “Rosenstein signed off on the fourth FISA warrant, he should know what evidence they used to continue the surveillance on Page.”
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