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Justice Department tells Graham that Rod Rosenstein will recuse if 'deemed appropriate'

The Justice Department reaffirmed Wednesday that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would step aside from oversee...

Posted: Jun 7, 2018 2:29 AM
Updated: Jun 7, 2018 2:29 AM

The Justice Department reaffirmed Wednesday that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would step aside from overseeing the Russia investigation if necessary, according to a letter obtained by CNN, but a senior Republican senator is not satisfied.

On Tuesday, South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN he believes Rosenstein is "conflicted" from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's work given his role in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey -- an issue of interest to the Mueller team as it determines whether the President inappropriately sought to interfere with the Russia investigation.

"If you're looking at obstruction of justice misconduct post-presidency, the Comey firing as being a form of obstruction of justice, then Rosenstein is a key witness in that and you can't be a witness and oversee the investigation," Graham told CNN, who also sent Rosenstein a short letter last week posing questions about whether he needed to recuse from the investigation.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote back in response Wednesday, reaffirming the department's general policy of not publicly commenting about any federal investigation, but also addressed the recusal issue.

"The Deputy Attorney General would recuse from all or part of any matter if recusal were deemed appropriate by Department officials who are informed about the matter," Boyd wrote. "Otherwise, he has a responsibility to fulfill his oath to well and faithfully execute the duties of his office."

CNN reported in April that Rosenstein has been in consultation with the senior ethics adviser at the Justice Department about this issue and has followed that individual's advice.

However, a Graham spokesman said the senator is not satisfied with the response, potentially adding another powerful Republican voice in the chorus of criticism against Rosenstein.

Rosenstein has faced sharp criticism from President Donald Trump and House Republicans, who have threatened to hold him in contempt of Congress if he fails to comply with their document requests on a variety of issues related to the Russia investigation. Thus far, Senate Republicans have largely shied away from that fight.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 27900

Reported Deaths: 1082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds215239
DeSoto137316
Madison122234
Jones106949
Neshoba96069
Lauderdale88278
Rankin84112
Forrest81442
Scott75015
Harrison7448
Copiah56615
Leake54819
Jackson53316
Holmes52741
Wayne52112
Washington4969
Lee49316
Oktibbeha48624
Yazoo4736
Leflore47249
Lowndes45311
Warren44317
Lincoln43534
Lamar4197
Grenada3805
Monroe36729
Pike36712
Attala35223
Lafayette3524
Newton3289
Sunflower3066
Covington3025
Bolivar27713
Panola2706
Adams26718
Chickasaw25918
Tate2577
Jasper2506
Marion24811
Pontotoc2476
Noxubee2458
Pearl River24432
Winston2435
Clay24210
Claiborne23610
Simpson2303
Smith20611
Clarke20124
Marshall2013
Coahoma1866
Kemper17614
Union1759
Walthall1724
Yalobusha1617
Carroll16011
Lawrence1591
Itawamba1278
Calhoun1244
Humphreys1239
Tippah12311
Webster12310
Montgomery1222
Hancock12013
Jefferson Davis1064
Tallahatchie1043
Prentiss983
Greene927
Jefferson923
Wilkinson919
Tunica893
Amite822
George743
Choctaw714
Quitman680
Tishomingo681
Perry614
Alcorn561
Stone521
Franklin382
Benton270
Sharkey240
Issaquena71
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 39604

Reported Deaths: 961
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4387142
Montgomery383999
Mobile3697134
Tuscaloosa204938
Marshall153710
Lee118937
Shelby108223
Madison10577
Morgan9813
Walker86723
Franklin85213
Dallas8198
Elmore81314
Baldwin6869
Etowah62513
Butler60427
DeKalb6025
Chambers58127
Tallapoosa56369
Autauga54511
Unassigned52025
Russell4840
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4446
Houston4344
Limestone4090
Cullman4003
Pike3995
Colbert3685
Bullock3629
Coffee3532
Barbour3231
Covington3087
St. Clair3042
Hale29321
Marengo28611
Wilcox2808
Sumter27612
Calhoun2705
Talladega2677
Clarke2665
Escambia2636
Dale2440
Jackson2382
Winston2333
Blount2141
Chilton2112
Pickens2116
Marion20312
Monroe1972
Choctaw19212
Conecuh1804
Bibb1711
Macon1708
Randolph1709
Greene1667
Perry1451
Henry1303
Crenshaw1233
Lawrence1010
Washington1007
Cherokee747
Lamar711
Fayette671
Geneva670
Clay582
Coosa551
Cleburne291
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