Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein briefed the entirety of the United States Senate today on the Comey firing and what is happening now. Lots of interesting stuff came out of it.
First, Rosenstein said that he knew Comey was going to be fired before he wrote his memo. This is not a shocker to anyone as I think that had been conclusively established earlier. Be that as it may, we now have it from Rosenstein himself that his memo was a post facto justification, not an initial recommendation.
Sen Dick Durban says Rosenstein knew the day before he wrote the memo that Comey had already been fired. @CBS21NEWS
— Robb Hanrahan (@RobbHanrahanCBS) May 18, 2017
Lindsey Graham emerged as the main voice on the briefing.
The senate investigations will have to take a back seat to the special counsel.
“I’m not so sure we can do it now,” the South Carolina Republican said. “You’ve got a special counsel who has prosecutorial powers now, and I think we in Congress have to be very careful not to interfere.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham on the Russia probe: "It seems to me now to be considered a criminal investigation" https://t.co/nr0IEZFIs4
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 18, 2017
Graham also said he had not yet received a response from Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump last week.
“We’re gonna have to put him on a milk carton,” Graham said. “’Have you seen this man?'”
So Lindsey Graham says he believes the FBI investigation has gone from counterintelligence to "criminal" after speaking with DAG Rosenstein
— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) May 18, 2017
I’m not sure that is news. Grand juries don’t issue subpoenas in counterintelligence investigations. And Mueller’s appointment letter clearly authorizes him to pursue indictments. But this will be a talking point, especially among Democrats, liberals, the media, and NeverTrump. (If you can tell the difference anymore.)
Graham believes Flynn was right to refuse the Senate subpoena.
“I find it hard to subpoena records of somebody like Mr. [Mike] Flynn, who may be subject to a criminal investigation because he has the right not to incriminate himself,” he said. “If I were Mr. Mueller, I would jealously guard the witness pool.”
“So one of the big losers in this decision is the public,” he said.