National Security

Lawsuit Seeks Insight into Rosenstein’s Words During a Critical Period in 2017

Judicial Watch, the conservative watchdog, explained exactly why this time frame is so key

Image Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images & Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The spotlight is once again on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (shown above right) after a lawsuit on Tuesday requested records concerning conversations he may have had during a critical month in 2017.

Judicial Watch, the prominent conservative watchdog, filed the lawsuit, noting it is not getting requested records from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The group has been seeking all records of communications from the deputy attorney general during an important few weeks in May 2017.

“These critical days in May, a scant three months into President [Donald] Trump’s term, included extraordinary targeting of President Trump by Rod Rosenstein and other ‘deep state’ officials at the DOJ and FBI,” said Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch’s president, in a statement.

“Judicial Watch’s focused FOIA lawsuit aims to uncover what exactly Mr. Rosenstein’s role was in any discussions to overthrow President Trump.”

Related: Watchdog Sues for DOJ Records on Removing Trump

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The group filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Sept. 21, 2018; there’s been no response. The request specifically was for all emails, text messages, and other records of communication addressed to or received by the deputy attorney general between May 8, 2017, and May 17, 2017.

The time period is important for a few reasons, including the special counsel investigation into Trump, noted Judicial Watch. Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team are particularly focused on whether Trump or associates colluded with Russian interests during the 2016 presidential election.

Rosenstein appointed the special counsel in May 2017 to investigate alleged Russian meddling in the presidential election.

He also wrote a memo to the president recommending former FBI Director James Comey be fired that same month.

Trump did just that — but still received backlash from the Left.

Related: House Republicans Call for Perjury Investigation Against Cohen

During that time, there were reported talks on removing the president, Judicial Watch also noted. Rosenstein supposedly met with then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other senior officials to discuss invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump.

Rosenstein also considered wearing a wire secretly to record conversations with the president.

Judicial Watch has filed numerous other record requests and lawsuits seeking information related to the investigation.

The group also filed a lawsuit seeking records of communication of former FBI Deputy Director McCabe, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and other high-ranking officials.

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