Rod Rosenstein Responds to Trump’s Demands to Probe if DOJ ‘Infiltrated or Surveilled’ His Campaign
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has responded to President Donald Trump‘s tweeted out demand for a probe into possible infiltration and surveillance of his campaign by agreeing to call in the Department of Justice’s Inspector General.
Earlier today, Trump wrote on Twitter that, “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”
I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018
In response, Rosenstein issued a statement saying that, if, in fact, anyone did infiltrate the campaign appropriate action will be taken.
“If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action,” Rosenstein said, unusually vowing action seemingly based on a tweet.
In a separate statement, DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores added that “the Inspector General will consult with the appropriate U.S. Attorney if there is any evidence of potential criminal conduct.”
Flores also noted the probe will “include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election.”
Axios‘ Jonathan Swan noted that Rosenstein’s move may be an attempt to make a preemptive strike after Trump threw a grenade into the Department of Justice.
“Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appears to be trying to pre-empt Trump’s official request by saying he’s happy to allow an independent investigation,” Swan wrote, adding, “The thing DoJ officials are most concerned about is the exposure of confidential sources and documents, which Trump still hasn’t formally ordered Rosenstein to do.”
The White House has not yet publicly responded to Rosenstein’s response.
Watch more above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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