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Mark Your Calendars: Rod Rosenstein Will Testify Before Senate on Origins of ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ Investigation

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Announces Indictment Of 12 Russian Military Officers For DNC Hacking

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary announced on Wednesday that former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is scheduled to testify before the panel on June 3 regarding the origins of “Crossfire Hurricane,” the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz in Dec. 2019 released a 400-page report on his office’s investigation into Crossfire Hurricane, concluding that, despite a plethora of procedural failures, the FBI ultimately had a proper factual and legal basis for opening a full investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible coordination with Russia.

Rosenstein released a statement confirming that he had accepted the panel’s invitation to testify on Wednesday.

“I am grateful to Chairman [Lindsey] Graham for the opportunity to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about information that has come to light concerning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process and the FBI’s counterintelligence decision-making, as a result of completed inquiries by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and ongoing reviews by U.S. Attorneys John Durham and Jeff Jensen,” Rosenstein said. “Independent law enforcement investigations, judicial review, and congressional oversight are important checks on the discretion of agents and prosecutors. We can only hope to maintain public confidence if we correct mistakes, hold wrongdoers accountable, and adopt policies to prevent problems from reoccurring.”

Next Wednesday’s proceedings will mark the first public hearings Sen. Graham will hold concerning the origins of the Russia investigation. Rosenstein is set to appear the day before the panel is scheduled to vote on a slew of subpoenas for documents and testimony from current and former administration officials concerning FISA abuses during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice released a copy of a memo authored by Rosenstein which outlined the scope of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and the potentially criminal activity Mueller was authorized to examine. The memo showed that Rosenstein expressly approved of Mueller and his team investigating whether Carter Page committed any crimes by “colluding with the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.” Rosenstein also approved probes into allegations against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former campaign aide George Papadopoulos, and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

As previously reported by Law&Crime, after leaving the Justice Department in 2019, Rosenstein joined the law firm King & Spalding’s Special Matters & Government Investigations team in Washington, D.C. in Jan. 2020.

[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.