House Democrats are increasingly frustrated with Rod Rosenstein after the deputy attorney general briefed lawmakers Friday on the investigation into Russia’s actions in the presidential election and possible ties to the Trump administration.
The Democrats left the classified, closed-door meeting in the Capitol basement saying Rosenstein refused to answer “simple yes-and-no questions,” in the words of Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), fueling concerns that the President Trump appointee overseeing the Justice Department probes may be influenced by the White House.
“The skepticism persists,” Sánchez, vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said while leaving the meeting.
“We got a lot of, ‘Trust us, we’ve got integrity, we’re straight shooters, we don’t have ulterior motives.’ I mean, it’s basically, ‘Trust us,’ ” she said. “And I’m operating under [the approach of], ‘OK, trust but verify.’ We need the … factual information.”
A visibly angry Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) was even more forceful, saying the “useless” briefing only escalates the distrust between Congress and the Justice Department.
“He caused more confusion and anger among members of Congress,” Gallego said.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) also appeared agitated.
“There was considerable frustration in the room,” Moulton said afterward. “This renewed my confidence that we should not have confidence in this administration.”
Rosenstein, a Trump appointee, stirred a hornet’s nest last week when he penned a three-page memo hammering former FBI Director James Comey for his handling of the Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump renominates 2 highest military officers ‘West Wing’ press secretary thinks Spicer should ‘just quit’ Clinton ‘burst out laughing’ at footage of Trump debate prep MORE email scandal throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump initially pointed to the memo as the primary reason for Comey’s firing — a narrative…