Deputy Attorney General: Special counsel Mueller needs permission to expand Russia investigation





(Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.Fox News)
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said on Sunday that the special counsel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election needs permission from the Department of Justice to expand his investigation if he finds evidence of an unrelated crime.

In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 campaign and President Donald Trump's campaign's potential ties to Russia was "not a fishing expedition."

"If he finds evidence of a crime that is within the scope of what Director Mueller and I have agreed is the appropriate scope of this investigation, then he can," Rosenstein said. "If it's something outside that scope he needs to come to the acting attorney general, at this time me, for permission to expand his investigation."

The deputy attorney general also pointed out that special counsel Kenneth Starr needed permission to expand his investigation during his probe into former President Bill Clinton's handling of a land deal.

Top Trump administration officials have dismissed the investigation and attempted to undermine Mueller's credibility.

Last week, White House special counselor Kellyanne Conway dubbed the investigation a "fishing expedition."

But Mueller has broader authority in the investigation than the White House may realize.

In appointing Mueller, Rosenstein gave him the authoritynot only to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated" with Trump's campaign, but also to examine "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation."

Rosenstein also gave Mueller the power to investigate "any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a)" - including perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses.

The mandate's scope is similar to that given by then-Acting Attorney General James Comeyto special counsel Patrick Fitzgeraldin 2003 to investigate who leaked the identity of former CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Trump hasreportedly grown irritatedwith thefollow-the-money approachMueller has taken to the investigation. But it is easy to imagine why Trump's loans, debts, and business empire - which has benefited from money flowing out of Russia - would warrant Mueller's scrutiny as he tries to trace the origins of Russia's interest in the Trump campaign and determine whether Moscow holds any leverage over Trump or his associates.

"If we got a report that Mueller was investigating, say, the Trump University fraud case, that would signal that this is a roaming investigation with an axe to grind," said Andy Wright, a constitutional law expert and professor at Savannah Law School. "But everything we've seen so far in terms of what Mueller is looking at has had a nexus to the Russia investigation."

NOW WATCH: Rob Goldstone, a man with cringeworthy Facebook videos, could bring down the president's son

COMMENTS

More Related News

Trump
Trump's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, is reportedly 'disgusted' and 'appalled' with Trump's Charlottesville response

Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump's top economic adviser and former Goldman Sachs COO, is...

Trump again blames
Trump again blames 'both sides' for Virginia violence
  • US
  • 2017-08-15 20:52:12Z

U.S. President Donald Trump insisted on Tuesday that not all of the facts were known yet about the aftermath of a white supremacist rally in Virginia that turned violent at the weekend and that both left- and right-wing groups used force. Trump, taking questions from reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, reverted to his initial comments on Saturday blaming "many sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, but on Monday had explicitly condemned neo-Nazi groups. "They came at each other with clubs ... it was a horrible thing to watch," Trump told reporters at what was supposed to be an announcement of his administration's infrastructure policy.

Trump says both left- and right-wing groups to blame in Virginia clashes
Trump says both left- and right-wing groups to blame in Virginia clashes
  • US
  • 2017-08-15 20:33:39Z

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said both sides were to blame in the clashes in Virginia over the weekend, adding that protesters on the political left violently attacked white nationalists rallying against a decision to remove a Confederate statue. Trump had been sharply criticized for his initial comments blaming "many sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, but on Monday had explicitly condemned right-wing racist elements.

North Korea leader holds off on Guam missile plan
North Korea leader holds off on Guam missile plan

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said Tuesday he would hold off on a planned missile strike near Guam, but warned the highly provocative move would go ahead in the event of further "reckless actions" by Washington. Some analysts suggested Kim's comments opened a possible path to de-escalating a growing crisis fuelled by bellicose words between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership. The North's official KCNA news agency said Kim was briefed on the "plan for an enveloping fire at Guam" during an inspection on Monday of the Strategic Force command in charge of the nuclear-armed state's missile units.

Merck, Under Armour, Intel CEOs resign from Trump panel
Merck, Under Armour, Intel CEOs resign from Trump panel

The CEOs of athletic wear manufacturer Under Armour, computer chip maker Intel and pharmaceutical company Merck resigned Monday from the White House's American Manufacturing Council - with the Merck withdrawal ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

  • Andrew Strasser
    (2017-08-06 22:25:52Z)

    Time will take care of Pres. TRUMP.
    With the current investigations, JUSTICE will provide a resolution.

    His Presidency will go down in Flames.

    REPLY

Top News: Economy

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.