Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein Under Pressure As Republicans Prepare To Release Memo

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And when the president asked if the deputy AG was on his team, sources told CNN Rosenstein was surprised by the president's questions but said, "Of course, we're all on your team, Mr. President". It's key that the Justice Department operates with independence from the executive branch, since Presidents would otherwise be able to influence or curtail investigations into their own conduct.

CNN says Rosenstein went to meet with the president because he wanted Trump's support in fighting a documents request from Rep. Devin Nunes. CNN has reported that Trump has been venting to his aides about Rosenstein in recent weeks and even raised the possibility of his removal.

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein visited the White House in December seeking President Donald Trump's help.

The Justice Department declined to comment for this story.

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U.S. Representative Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) said a potential Rosenstein departure "raises more flags than it dismisses", while Representative David Joyce (R-Ohio) suggested both Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Rosenstein should continue their investigations unabated.

So it's significant that on Tuesday, Rep. James Comer (R-KY) went on CNN and said he would have no qualms if Trump chose to remove Rosenstein. Short of firing, Rosenstein's replacement could sharply limit the scope of Mueller's investigation and prevent his final report from being released publicly. The White House did not comment.

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During the hearing, Rosenstein repeatedly refused to confirm whether Trump had ever asked him about the Russian Federation probe. He also pushed back at Democrats' questions about the President's demands for loyalty. Trump fired Comey to kill the FBI investigation of his presidential campaign. At that time, in response to a question about whether he had ever been asked to pledge his loyalty to Trump, Rosenstein responded, "Nobody has asked me to take a loyalty pledge, other than the oath of office".