Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made his second appearance before a Congressional body on Tuesday when he answered questions from the House Appropriations Committee. Rosenstein had gone before the Committee’s Senate counterpart earlier in the day. During the House hearing, New York Representative Nita Lowey asked Rosenstein if he had discussed former FBI Director James Comey‘s termination with the White House, and if anyone directed him to write his recommendation of Comey’s dismissal.
Rosenstein said, “This may well be within the scope of the Special Counsel’s investigation so I’m limited in what I can say about it,” referring to special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation of Russia’s possible ties to the Trump campaign and their effect on November’s election.
The suggestion that the scope of Mueller’s investigation may extend beyond the Trump campaign’s activity to the recent firing of the FBI Director would indicate that the special counsel could be looking into a possible cover-up. Comey himself said when he testified before the Senate last week that he was “sure” that Mueller’s investigation would look into a potential obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump.
Of course, Rosenstein’s answer does not confirm that Mueller is definitely exploring the issue. As he has already said earlier in the day, Rosenstein is not involved in the investigation and does not know any details regarding what’s going on. It is likely that he simply is trying to avoid inadvertently getting in the way. As Rosenstein went on to say, “I’ve been a prosecutor for 27 years, we don’t want people talking publicly about the subjects of ongoing investigations.”