The Justice Department on Wednesday released a mostly unredacted version of then-Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s August 2017 “scope memo” outlining the authority of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller — and the document reveals for the first time that Mueller’s authority went significantly beyond what was known previously.
Rosenstein, who later left the Justice Department for a law firm, oversaw Mueller’s probe and played a central role in its still-unfolding drama. He was the subject of a two-page memo written by then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe that outlined how Rosenstein allegedly proposed wearing a wire in the White House “to collect additional evidence on the president’s true intentions,” and thought the scheme was plausible because “he was not searched when he entered the White House.” Rosenstein has denied those allegations and slammed the FBI.
Previously, it had been revealed that in May 2017, Rosenstein authorized Mueller to probe “i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; iii) any other matters within the scope of .”
But, Rosenstein’s later August 2017 scope memo had remained largely redacted. The newly released version of the document makes clear that Rosenstein didn’t hesitate to explicitly authorize a deep-dive criminal probe into the Trump team that extended well beyond Russian interference efforts. (A third scope memo was also drafted.)
In the case of George Papadopoulos, a low-level former Trump foreign policy aide, Mueller was authorized to probe whether there had been a “crime or crimes” committed when he allegedly acted “as an unregistered agent of the government of Israel,” the new, lesser-redacted scope memo states. Papadopoulos has previously told Fox News that federal authorities tried to entrap him to secure a conviction under the Foreign Agents Registration Act , and that money in a safe in Greece might shed light on the purported scheme. – READ MORE
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