Rod Rosenstein Closed-Door Interview Abruptly Postponed

Deputy AG had been slated to appear before leadership of Judiciary, Oversight panels

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will not be testifying before the leadership of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees after the GOP chairmen abruptly postponed the meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s highly anticipated interview on Capitol Hill has been postponed, the chairmen of two House oversight committees announced late Tuesday, punting a high-profile event scheduled for Wednesday to an unknown date. 

“The Committees are unable to ask all questions of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein within the time allotted for tomorrow’s transcribed interview, therefore, the interview will be postponed. Mr. Rosenstein has indicated his willingness to testify before the Judiciary and Oversight Committees in the coming weeks in either a transcribed interview or a public setting,” Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte and Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy said in a joint statement.

Conservative House members had criticized the interview for cutting them out of the process. The chairmen did not immediately announce when the much anticipated Rosenstein testimony might take place. 

As had been set up before the postponement, Rosenstein was scheduled to field questions from just four leaders on the joint Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform panel — Goodlatte and Gowdy and Democratic ranking members Jerrold Nadler and Elijah Cummings.

Much of the interview was expected to focus on a New York Times report that alleged Rosenstein said he wanted to secretly record Trump and had talked about trying to force him out of office by invoking the 25th Amendment.

Rosenstein has denied that he ever suggested such a thing. Others present in the alleged meeting have said the deputy AG offered the suggestion sarcastically.

The only other person who was to be present for the interview besides Rosenstein and the four committee leaders was to have been a court reporter.

Even though the interview was to have been behind closed doors, Rosenstein, per Justice Department protocol, was not going to comment about ongoing investigations at the DOJ, including special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s probe into possible ties between Russia and Trump’s inner circle of campaign and White House advisers.

Griffin Connolly contributed to this report.

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