Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) suggested Friday that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may have prevented Special Counsel Robert Mueller from investigating possible financial connections between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and the Russian government.
"When you read the 200 pages of the links between the Russians and the Trump campaign and the fact that Bob Mueller did not find collusion, remember he was not allowed to pursue any money laundering or any follow-the-money type investigation," Swalwell said on MSNBC's Deadline: White House. "The question will be: Why wasn't he allowed to do that? And was that Rod Rosenstein protecting the president by not allowing that to be a part of the investigation?"
Recent Stories in Politics
Swalwell also criticized Rosenstein for not keeping "a wall" between himself and Trump, claiming he did not respect "the independence of the Department of Justice." Additionally, Rosenstein should not have written the memo suggesting that Trump fire former FBI Director James Comey, Swalwell said.
"He never should have been talking to the president at all about his status as a witness or subject or possibly a target," Swalwell said.
Although he is concerned with the conduct of the attorney general's office in the Mueller Investigation, Swalwell said it does not have the final say over what the Trump campaign may or may not have done in 2016.
"The final say for the American people is not going to be Attorney General Barr," Swalwell said. "We will hear from him next week. It's not going to be Rod Rosenstein. It's going to be the person who conducted the investigation: Bob Mueller."
Swalwell has been a strident critic of the Trump administration's conduct throughout the unfolding of the Mueller investigation and its eventual findings. During a Tuesday interview on MSNBC's The Beat, Swalwell insisted to host Ari Melber, that, despite Mueller's report that Trump did not work with Russia, the president acts like he did.
"I think he acts on Russia's behalf too many times, and he puts their interests ahead of our interests," Swalwell said. "He acts guilty, Ari!"