Rosenstein says Mueller probe is 'appropriate' and 'independent'

Alex Wong  Getty Images North America

Alex Wong Getty Images North America

Bloomberg notes that Mueller's findings may not be made public "if he doesn't secure unsealed indictments", as Rosenstein has some discretion to decide what is publicly released and what is disclosed to Congress.

The regulations governing Mueller's probe stipulate that he can present his findings only to his boss, who is now Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

In a rare interview with The Wall Street Journal posted Wednesday, Rosenstein's message is a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump's frequent criticism of the probe as a "witch hunt" and "rigged".

In his conversation with the Journal, Rosenstein did not specify when Mueller's investigation would come to a close.

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While presenting the findings after the midterms is surely a "good government" strategy to not have the findings turn into a political football, the imminent end to the investigation would be a very big deal in the upcoming election - if people think the Russian Federation investigation is a big deal among the voting public, which I'm not sure it is.

He also lauded the probe's revelation of a widespread effort by Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

That suggests the days and weeks immediately after the November 6 election may be the most pivotal time since Mueller took over the Russian Federation investigation nearly a year and a half ago. "I believe I have been faithful to that".

Mueller's looming bombshell report has heightened concerns that President Trump may oust Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy Rod Rosenstein after voters go to the polls, and could signal an attempt by Rosenstein - who oversees the probe due to Sessions' recusal - to save the investigation even if he can't save his own job. "You serve at the pleasure of the president, and there's never been any ambiguity about that in my mind". "We sit down every day and we work toward the goals of the department and try to ignore the inevitable attention in the media".

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