Trump should fire Rosenstein if DOJ doesn’t hand over Russia probe documents: Stephen Bannon
President Trump’s controversial former chief strategist Stephen Bannon said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is “clearly obstructing justice” and should be fired if he does not produce documents sought by Congress related to Russian election meddling and Hillary Clinton’s secret emails.
The former Breitbart News executive chairman discussed the issue with The Hill after Wednesday’s tweet from Mr. Trump calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “stop this rigged witch hunt right now,” referring to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian election meddling probe.
“If [Mr. Rosenstein] doesn’t do it in 72 hours, he’s fired,” Mr. Bannon said, The Hill reported. “I’d fire him.”
Last week, Freedom Caucus leaders in the House filed articles of impeachment against Mr. Rosenstein before softening their stance after House Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, announced his opposition.
It was unlikely that the push against Mr. Rosenstein, led by Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, had the floor votes to remove the DOJ’s second-in-command.
However, Congress could hold him in contempt when they return from their summer recess if the requested documents are not handed over.
Trump supporters say the documents in question show that senior DOJ officials under the Obama administration manipulated the nation’s surveillance apparatus to spy on the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and transition team. Democrats counter that Republicans are twisting issues of national security to their agenda.
One of the Trump administration’s more combative figures, Mr. Bannon left his post as chief strategist due to a very public fall from grace early this year after being quoted extensively in Michael Wolff’s tell-all book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
In the interview, published Thursday, Mr. Bannon took a different view of Mr. Mueller, than Mr. Trump, who believes the special counsel probe should end.
Mr. Bannon called Mr. Mueller “a good man, a combat veteran Marine,” adding that the investigation should be “brought to a conclusion.” He also said there was “obviously no collusion.”
“Let the American people, on Nov. 6, let them decide,” Mr. Bannon said, referring to the upcoming midterm elections. “They are going to say that is too thin a reed to hang anything serious on.”
In January it was reported that Mr. Bannon was to be interviewed by Mr. Mueller’s Russia probe investigators instead of testifying before a grand jury. Legal experts took that as a sign he was cooperating with investigators.