Beleaguered Justice Department No. 2 Rod Rosenstein raised eyebrows Thursday night with a private speech in which he took a swipe at the Obama administration and slammed ex-FBI boss James Comey.
Rosenstein, the U.S. deputy attorney general who supervised the Mueller investigation, spoke out publically for the first time since the report was released, criticizing the Obama administration’s real-time reaction to Russian hacking and its decision “not publicize the full story” to the American people.
Rosenstein, who was speaking in New York at the Public Servants Dinner of the Armenian Bar Association, defended his handling of the probe and criticized former officials in the process. He also called out former FBI Director James Comey for alerting Congress about the investigation into Russian collusion at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign.
“The FBI disclosed classified evidence about the investigation to ranking legislators and their staffers,” he said. “Someone selectively leaked details to the news media. The FBI director [Comey] announced at a congressional hearing that there was a counterintelligence investigation that might result in criminal charges. Then the former FBI director alleged that the president pressured him to close the investigation, and the president denied that the conversation occurred.