During a speech on Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein spoke out to criticize the Obama administration’s handling of Russian hacking and defended the Mueller report.
“The previous Administration chose not to publicize the full story about Russian computer hackers and social media trolls, and how they relate to a broader strategy to undermine America,” said Rosenstein during the Armenian Bar Association’s Public Servants Dinner.
He pointed to the evidence that was revealed in the Mueller report as a way to defend their handling of the investigation.
“There was overwhelming evidence that Russian operatives hacked American computers and defrauded American citizens, and that is only the tip of the iceberg of a comprehensive Russian strategy to influence elections, promote social discord, and undermine America, just like they do in many other countries.”
He also slammed former FBI Director James Comey for revealing to Congress there was an ongoing investigation.
“The FBI disclosed classified evidence about the investigation to ranking legislators and their staffers,” Rosenstein said. “Someone selectively leaked details to the news media. The FBI director [Comey] announced at a congressional hearing that there was a counterintelligence investigation that might result in criminal charges. Then the former FBI director alleged that the president pressured him to close the investigation, and the president denied that the conversation occurred.”
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein: "It's not our job to render conclusive factual findings. We just decide whether it's appropriate to file criminal charges." pic.twitter.com/NO3jP2qiTO
— The Hill (@thehill) April 26, 2019
As IJR previously reported, there was no collusion found between the Trump campaign and Russia, but there was extensive evidence of Russian hacking in the election. Rosenstein defended the report, saying that while he did agree with the evidence, the Department of Justice was not responsible for making a finding.
“I did pledge to do it right and take it to the appropriate conclusion,” said Rosenstein. “I did not promise to report all results to the public, because grand jury investigations are ex parte proceedings. It is not our job to render conclusive factual findings. We just decide whether it is appropriate to file criminal charges.”