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Friday, 19 May 2017 17:01

Ample precedent argues that special investigation won’t impede parallel congressional probes

Written by  Karen Tumulty

While some Republicans are warning that the appointment of a special counsel could impede Congress’ parallel investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, there is ample precedent that argues the opposite.

“It’s clearly an excuse,” said former Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), a former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “It didn’t keep them from doing oversight when there was a Democratic president.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein assured lawmakers Friday that his appointment of a special counsel to investigate possible coordination between the Russian government and associates of President Trump should not impede Congress’s own probes into that same question, according to one account by a senior Democratic congressman.

During a closed briefing with House members, Rosenstein was pressed on whether congressional investigations might conflict with the one conducted by the recently named special counsel, former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

“Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein recognized and acknowledged that Congress has an independent right to continue its own investigations into issues that, although not necessarily criminal, relate to our core oversight functions,” said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 19: Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Read more at WashingtonPost

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