News & Politics

Former FBI Official Explains How Robert Mueller Will Be Prepared for the Firing of Rod Rosenstein

For more than a year, Rod Rosenstein has been protecting Robert Mueller.

Photo Credit: MSNBC

While many observers asked how Congress could or would respond to multiple reports about the potential firing or resignation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Monday, Frank Figliuzzi, a former assistant director at the FBI, took another perspective on the issue.

Instead of asking what Congress could do, he raised another pertinent question: What will Rober Mueller do in reaction to the news?

Rosenstein appointed and has overseen Mueller as special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign. If Trump fires Rosenstein or appoints his successor, it could be part of an attempt to undermine that investigation.

"If you're on the Mueller team, which is what I'm thinking about right now, you're essentially doing that embassy consulate drill where the embassy is about to be taken and you start assuming you're about to be compromised," Figliuzzi said on MSNBC's "Deadline: What House."

"So what does that look like?" asked host Nicolle Wallace. "You start moving cases out to SDNY, you start moving cases out to other U.S. attorneys' offices?

"Yeah, you press 'send,'" he said. "You press 'send' on those packages — that prosecutorial parachute goes to various state attorneys general and various U.S. attorneys' offices."

In other words, in preparation for potentially getting fired or being managed by someone hostile to his aims, Mueller is probably working to collect whatever information and work he has collected on any of his pending investigatory leads. He can decentralize this information by sending it to other offices in the Justice Department and to any state attorneys general that could have jurisdiction over the relevant cases. In that way, Mueller may be able to protect the investigation itself and the cases he's pursued, even if Trump does his best to intervene.

Watch the clip below:

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.