"As deputy attorney general, you are more involved in policy making, but in terms of the principles of the department and how we conduct our investigations and who we prosecute, those decisions are going to be made in the same way they have always been made", he said.
Comey testified it would be up to Mueller to decide whether Trump's action amounted to obstruction of justice, an act that could be cited in any effort in the Republican-led Congress to impeach him and remove him from office. Beyond Mueller's inquiry, both the House and Senate intelligence committees are probing Russian election hacking and Trump collusion.
Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she was "increasingly concerned" that Mr Trump will sack both Mr Mueller and Mr Rosenstein. Trump initially used that memo along with a recommendation from Sessions to justify firing Comey.
The transition team's general counsel issued the memo to members who helped set up the Trump administration between the election and inauguration, and it indicates how broad special counsel Robert Mueller's probe has grown, reported the New York Times.
The widened Russian Federation probe could have far-reaching repercussions for Trump's presidency, transforming his closest aides into witnesses and sucking yet more political oxygen out of the West Wing.
It was unclear what report or reports Rosenstein was referencing. If Trump were to try and remove Mueller, it would likely lead to either the firing or resignation of Rosenstein. Mueller is now leading the investigation into whether Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
If Rosenstein were to recuse himself, the responsibility of overseeing the special counsel would fall to the department's third-highest-ranking official, Rachel Lee Brand, who was confirmed a month ago to be associate attorney general. That had not happened as of Friday afternoon, but the possibility remains.
CORNISH: Now, if the president is so down on Mueller, why not fire him? "I can confirm that the Vice President has retained Richard Cullen of McGuire Woods to assist him in responding to inquiries by the special counsel", said Jarrod Agen, Pence's communications director, in a statement. He also has millions of followers on his official Facebook pages.
Rosenstein sees no reason at this point to recuse himself, the Justice Department said Friday.
That would be unsettling for a Justice Department where many top positions remain unfilled. Trump continues to deny wrongdoing, but Americans may be losing faith, according to a new Associated Press poll. Another official disputed that Rosenstein pushed for Sessions' recusal.
The suit follows a similar one filed on Monday by the attorney generals of Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Someone else would have to fill that role.
And there is no evidence that Mueller recommended to Trump that he fire Comey. But that doesn't appear to violate any ethics rules, either, Slansky said.
If proven to be true this would implicate Trump in an obstruction of justice, which is an impeachable offence. "This investigation is so important to our country that it was incumbent on Rosenstein to find someone who would be beyond question or reproach. There is too much cross-pollination between his background and that of James Comey".
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein released a statement Thursday night urging Americans to be skeptical of any news stories that attribute anonymous officials.
All investigations may ultimately prove no wrongdoing.
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