Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Wednesday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's authority allowed him to investigate "anybody" suspected of obstructing justice when asked if President Donald Trump could fall under such a probe.
Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson (Ga.) asked Rosenstein about Mueller's authority to investigate "any individual" who may have obstructed the Russia election interference investigation.
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"Special Counsel does have authority to investigate any obstruction related to his jurisdiction," Rosenstein said.
"Does this authority to investigate possible obstruction include investigating President Trump?" Johnson asked.
Rosenstein said he would not discuss who may or may not be under investigation, but Johnson said that wasn't his question.
"It authorizes him to investigate anybody who there's predication to believe obstructed justice," Rosenstein said.
"And that includes the president, correct?" Johnson asked.
"It'll include anybody who was suspected of obstructing justice," Rosenstein said.
Critics have charged Trump might have tweeted an admittance of obstructing justice when he wrote that he fired Michael Flynn as his National Security Adviser in February because he lied to the FBI. According to former FBI Director James Comey, Trump later asked him privately to back off the Flynn investigation.
"I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI," Trump tweeted on Dec. 2. "He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!"