- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein confirmed Wednesday that he will testify before a Senate committee investigating the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe.

Mr. Rosenstein will be the first witness to meet with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Scheduled for June 3, the hearing will be the first public one to be held by Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, as part of his review of Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI’s name for its investigation into the Trump campaign.

Mr. Rosenstein said he was “grateful” for the opportunity to discuss the FBI and Justice Department’s decision-making as it probed possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“I learned firsthand that most local, state and federal law enforcement officers deserve the high confidence people place in them, but also that even the best law enforcement officers make mistakes, and that some engage in willful misconduct,” he said in a statement.

“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 recurring,” the statement continued.

Mr. Rosenstein, who left the Justice Department last year after a rocky two-year tenure, was a critical witness to many of the key events in the Russia investigation.

Mr. Rosenstein wrote the 2017 memo that resulted in President Trump’s firing of then-FBI Director James Comey. After Mr. Comey’s termination, Mr. Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate links between Trump campaign officials and Russia.

He oversaw the Russia investigation until acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was appointed in November 2018. When Mr. Whitaker left in early 2019, Attorney General William P. Barr took over the investigation.

The Judiciary Committee hearing is scheduled one day before the panel is set to vote on a wide-ranging subpoena that would compel former Obama-era officials to testify and turn over documents.

Mr. Comey, Mr. Rosenstein and others, including Obama national security adviser Susan Rice, would have been subject to the subpoena. But Mr. Rosenstein’s agreement to testify removes him from the subpoena threat.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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