Rod Rosenstein to testify before Senate panel on Russia probe

The committee’s investigation is expected to focus on a wide range of issues related to the Justice Department’s handling of the counterintelligence investigation, which eventually morphed into special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. Rosenstein appointed Mueller after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from overseeing the investigation due to his role as an adviser to the Trump campaign.

“I am grateful to Chairman 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,” Rosenstein said in a statement.

Graham has said he also wants to look into alleged abuses of the FISA courts which were documented in a report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz last year — specifically, the FBI’s missteps as it sought warrants to surveil Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, whose ties to Russia drew scrutiny. In a statement, Graham said Rosenstein will testify about the Horowitz report “and other matters.”

The committee’s probe is also expected to cover the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., but later saw his criminal case dropped by the Justice Department. Flynn and his allies, including Trump and prominent conservative media figures, have accused the FBI and senior-level Obama administration officials of unfairly targeting the former Defense Intelligence Agency chief.

“Independent law enforcement investigations, judicial review, and congressional oversight are important checks on the discretion of agents and prosecutors,” Rosenstein added. “We can only hope to maintain public confidence if we correct mistakes, hold wrongdoers accountable, and adopt policies to prevent problems from recurring.”

The next day, the committee is expected to vote on a broad subpoena giving Graham the authority to compel documents and testimony from a slew of former Obama and Trump administration officials. FBI Director Christopher Wray is also on the list.

Graham has resisted Trump’s calls for the Judiciary Committee to seek former President Barack Obama’s testimony, arguing it would set a dangerous precedent.

Rosenstein came under intense criticism from Trump and his allies in the wake of a 2018 New York Times report stating that Rosenstein privately suggested after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey that he secretly record Trump and later discussed the possibility of recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office.

Rosenstein crafted the memo that Trump ultimately used to justify Comey’s firing, which focused on Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Josh Gerstein and Betsy Woodruff Swan contributed to this report.