Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday said ex-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe was not candid with him about the bureau’s 2016 investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Mr. Rosenstein, who oversaw the Russia probe, said he doesn’t believe Mr. McCabe ever lied to him, but he certainly could have been more forthcoming. He alleged Mr. McCabe withheld suspicions that President Trump had conspired with Russia.
“I believe, Senator, Mr. McCabe was not fully candid with me, certainly wasn’t forthcoming,” Mr. Rosenstein said. “In particular, Senator, with regard to [former FBI Director James B.] Comey’s memorandum of his interviews with the president and with regard to the FBI’s suspicions about the president.”
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Rosenstein said he did know until a week after Mr. McCabe had become acting FBI director, even though the two had repeatedly discussed the Russia investigation.
Mr. McCabe blasted Mr. Rosenstein, saying his claims were “completely false.” He said he personally briefed Mr. Rosenstein on Mr. Comey’s memos about his interactions with the president..
“Mr. Rosenstein’s testimony is completely at odds with the factual record. It looks to be yet another sad attempt by the President and his men to rewrite the history of their actions in 2017. They have found in Mr. Rosenstein — then and now — a willing accessory in that effort,” Mr. McCabe said in a statement.
When asked by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham about Mr. McCabe’s response, Mr. Rosenstein delivered a fiery response, insisting that the Comey memos had been withheld from him.
Mr. Rosenstein said he only learned of the memos detailing Mr. Comey’s conversations with Mr. Trump just before they had been leaked to The New York Times.
“The bottom line, Senator, is that for whatever reason he did not feel comfortable disclosing that information to me for a week, and I think I should have known that earlier, and I think I had a right to know it,” he responded.
“I simply said that he wasn’t fully forthcoming with me, and I think that is accurate,” Mr. Rosenstein continued. “I am confident, Senator, that the folks who worked with me will back me up on that.”
Mr. Graham, South Carolina Republican, said he intends to call Mr. McCabe to testify about the origins of the Russia probe and give him an opportunity to more fully address the matter.