'This Is Not A Step That They Would Have Taken Lightly': MSNBC Guest Says Rosenstein Knew of Potential Subpoena of Trump

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein must have known ahead of time about special counsel Robert Mueller's warning to President Donald Trump's legal team that he may end up subpoenaing the president if he refuses to be interviewed, according to law professor Joyce Vance.

"Prosecutors never threaten to take an action they can't take," Vance said, referring to Mueller's warning, which was first reported by the Washington Post.

"Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who's in charge and who oversees this investigation, was also on board and would have had to authorize the use of a subpoena against the president of the United States," she said Tuesday night to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. "And that tells you that this evidence has been carefully reviewed. This is not a step that they would have taken lightly. They would have considered whether the evidence was available from other sources, whether it was critical to the investigation."

She added: "For this is to even come up in this kind of a tense setting, the issue would have been fully vetted inside the department."

Watch the clip below.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.