Cummings Proposes Emergency Hearings if Trump Ousts Rosenstein

Sep 24, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 24, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, called on Chairman Trey Gowdy to hold an emergency hearing if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is forced out of his position:

“We have received conflicting reports this morning that President Trump was about to fire Mr. Rosenstiein, that Mr. Rosenstein resigned in anticipation of being fired, or that the White House falsely claimed that Mr. Rosenstein resigned when he had not.

“If President Trump forces out Mr. Rosenstein—regardless of how it happens—the American people deserve a full and complete accounting of these actions, and the Oversight Committee should hold an immediate emergency hearing with Mr. Rosenstein, obtain all the emails and other correspondence from the White House and Justice Department, and start conducting transcribed interviews and depositions about this decision.

“Mr. Rosenstein’s removal would plunge our nation into uncharted territory and pose a serious and profound threat to the continued work of the Special Counsel, and I would expect the American people to be outraged if President Trump’s extended campaign to interfere with this investigation results in Mr. Rosenstein’s ouster.”

Mr. Rosenstein serves as a firewall, protecting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation from President Trump’s ongoing attempts to influence and end it.  The investigation has already yielded eight guilty pleas—including from President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Campaign Chairman, Deputy Campaign Chairman, and campaign Foreign Policy Advisor—and the indictments of 26 Russian nationals and three Russian companies.

President Trump has been personally attacking Mr. Rosenstein and the entire Special Counsel investigation for the past year:

  • On June 16, 2017, President Trump tweeted:  “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt”
  • On January 26, 2018, CNN reported:  “Months after his reported effort to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, President Donald Trump is still fuming over the Russia investigation and has Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in his crosshairs.  The President has been venting about Rosenstein—who oversees Mueller and the special counsel investigation—in recent weeks, according to four sources familiar with the situation.  At times, Trump even gripes about wanting Rosenstein removed, two of those sources said.  One source said the President makes comments like ‘let’s fire him, let’s get rid of him’ before his advisers convince him it’s an ill-fated idea.  Trump’s first year in office has been marked by his preoccupation with an investigation he has dubbed a ‘witch hunt’ and his reported efforts to bring it to a swift conclusion.”
  • On April 11, 2018, President Trump tweeted:  “Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama.  Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter).  No Collusion, so they go crazy!”
  • On April 20, 2018, the Washington Post reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the White House that he “might have to leave his job if President Trump fired his deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the exchange.  Sessions made his position known in a phone call to White House counsel Donald McGahn last weekend, as Trump’s fury at Rosenstein peaked after the deputy attorney general approved the FBI’s raid April 9 on the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen.”
115th Congress