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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
by
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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JUNE 30, 2018

     Rosenstein acted very smug. Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy tore into Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday over the long-running Russia collusion probe -- telling the Justice Department at a public hearing to “finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart.” Gowdy’s excoriation came amid a string of tense moments at the House Judiciary Committee hearing, where a months-long battle between Republicans and the DOJ over its handling of the Russia probe and Hillary Clinton email investigation flared before the cameras. Underscoring those tensions, as Rosenstein testified alongside FBI Director Christopher Wray, the House approved a resolution insisting the DOJ comply with congressional subpoenas for documents related to the Russia case.

     Earlier in the hearing, Gowdy, R-S.C., spoke to frustration over the protracted Russia investigation that Rosenstein oversees, suggesting that despite a host of charges against Trump-tied figures, the investigation has not found evidence of presidential wrongdoing. Rosenstein, meanwhile, was grilled repeatedly Thursday by House Republicans over everything from his department’s role in Trump campaign surveillance to alleged stonewalling of congressional document requests to the damning watchdog report on FBI conduct during the Clinton email probe.

     The top DOJ official, who oversees the special counsel’s Russia probe, sought to defuse tensions – vowing to hold wrongdoers accountable in the wake of the inspector general report and defending the response to congressional requests for documents related to the Russia investigation. Rosenstein said “we’re not withholding anything,” in response to questions from committee member Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., over newly revealed texts between FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. A bombshell text in the IG report showed Strzok vowing to "stop" the election of President Trump.

     Rosenstein also denied allegations from Jordan that he had Strzok avoid answering certain questions during a closed-door appearance before the committee a day earlier. Further, he said he could not discuss classified information in an open setting when asked what the DOJ and FBI did to surveil the Trump campaign, including the reported work of an informant apparently in contact with members of that campaign in 2016.
 
 
 

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