If Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein does not comply with the request of two Republican lawmakers to release documents about why special counsel Robert Mueller began investigating alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election, he could be held in contempt, according to Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz.
Continue Reading Below
“There has never been a more important time in our history for checks and balances to be operating, whether it’s regarding President Trump’s immigration policies, where we’re seeing checks and balances in play and whether it be the Mueller investigation,” Dershowitz said during an interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Friday.
Mueller is currently conducting a probe into whether the Trump campaign team colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. The president has repeatedly decried the investigation as a “witch hunt.”
But Republicans cried foul when it was revealed that Mueller, a Republican, hired FBI official Peter Strzok, whose politically charged texts were uncovered by the Justice Department inspector general report. Strzok called Trump an “idiot” and wrote that they “can’t take the risk” of a Trump victory.
The FBI removed Strzok from Mueller’s investigation, but he once played a large role in the probe. He interviewed former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and during the presidential campaign, interviewed several Hillary Clinton staffers -- including Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills -- about her use of a private email server as secretary of state. In a letter made public Sunday, Strzok indicated that he was willing to testify without an immunity deal before Congress, as first reported by The Washington Post.
Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus drafted impeachment articles against Rosenstein last month, and some GOP representatives have suggested the deputy attorney general should be impeached. But according to Dershowitz, it’s unlikely that Rosenstein will be forced to resign. Instead, he’ll probably be held in contempt -- which Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has threatened.
“They could hold him in contempt. He would then challenge that in court. I don’t think they could make him resign,” Dershowitz said. “Look, he should be recused. There’s no doubt about that. To the extent the investigation involves firing Comey, which he was involved in, he shouldn’t be involved in the investigation at all.”