“Rod J. Rosenstein curtailed the investigation without telling the bureau, all but ensuring it would go nowhere”
The Mueller probe was expected to unearth the full scope of President Donald Trump’s troublesome personal and financial ties to Russia. Many were concerned and disappointed when it did not. Some blamed Attorney General Bill Barr, whose infamous four-page letter he released as a supposed “summary” of the 22-month investigation falsely characterized its findings.
But The New York Times reveals that early into the Special Counsel investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein secretly and dramatically narrowed the scope of the investigation, blocking former FBI Director Robert Mueller from looking into what literally was the basis for the investigation.
“The former deputy attorney general maneuvered to keep investigators from completing an inquiry into whether the president’s personal and financial links to Russia posed a national security threat,” The Times reports.
The Times report reveals that “law enforcement officials never fully investigated Mr. Trump’s own relationship with Russia, even though some career F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators thought his ties posed such a national security threat that they took the extraordinary step of opening an inquiry into them.”
“Within days, the former deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein curtailed the investigation without telling the bureau, all but ensuring it would go nowhere.”
Rosenstein ordered Mueller “to examine ‘any links and/or coordination between the Russian government’ and the Trump campaign. Many Democrats embraced the appointment as a sign that law enforcement would complete a full accounting of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia.”
But privately, Mr. Rosenstein instructed Mr. Mueller to conduct only a criminal investigation into whether anyone broke the law in connection with Russia’s 2016 election interference, former law enforcement officials said.
Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the Times, “We opened this case in May 2017 because we had information that indicated a national security threat might exist, specifically a counterintelligence threat involving the president and Russia.”
“I expected that issue and issues related to it would be fully examined by the special counsel team. If a decision was made not to investigate those issues, I am surprised and disappointed. I was not aware of that.”
Read the entire Times report here.
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