Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates expressed confidence in the Justice Department official overseeing the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian government, undercutting calls from some Democrats for the appointment of a special prosecutor.
“The current deputy attorney general, Mrs. Yates, do you have confidence in him?” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Yates at the tail end of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Monday.
“Yes, I do,” replied Yates.
Graham and Yates were referring to Rod Rosenstein, a Trump appointee who is overseeing the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the presidential election because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the matter.
Yates’ vote of confidence in Rosenstein nullifies demands from some Democrats in Monday’s hearing for the appointment of an outside prosecutor take over the investigation.
Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal pressed Yates to support a special prosecutor, though she declined to do so.
“I absolutely understand your concerns here, but the fact of the matter is, particularly as someone who just departed from the Department of Justice, I’m not going to wade into whether or not they should have an independent counsel in this matter,” said Yates, who was fired by President Trump on Jan. 30.