Senator Cornyn

Cornyn Questions Rosenstein on Comey, Steele Dossier, and Crossfire Hurricane Investigation

June 3, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) questioned former Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Russia’s role in the 2016 election and the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s exchange with former Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein are below, and video can be found here.

On Former FBI Director Comey:

CORNYN: “Your principal concern was that Director Comey usurped the role of the Department of Justice when he held a press conference on July of 2016, where he said that Hillary Clinton was extremely reckless in the way she handled her email server. But he said that no reasonable prosecutor would prosecute her.”

“That was in violation of the norms and rules and regulations of the Department of Justice, correct?”


CORNYN: “You concluded in your memo to Attorney General Sessions that he would probably do that again since he saw nothing wrong with the way he handled that, correct?”

ROSENSTEIN: “It’s important that we have an FBI Director who recognizes that that was wrong. Yes, sir.”

On Christopher Steele:

CORNYN: “At the time Christopher Steele was on the payroll of Fusion GPS to do opposition research for the Democratic National Committee on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign, he was also retained as a confidential human source by the FBI, correct?”

ROSENSTEIN: “What I do know is that whoever was paying him is one issue. The other issue is, what was the basis for believing he was credible? Did the FBI have an appropriate basis for believing he was credible? The Inspector General Report suggests that they misstated that, or overstated their basis for believing he was credible.”

On Russia’s Involvement:

CORNYN: “Mr. Rosenstein, it strikes me that Mr. Putin must be extraordinarily pleased with how this all played itself out.”

“Not only was Hillary Clinton and her campaign disparaged, not only was President Trump and his campaign disparaged and put through what can only be described as hell for the last three and a half years of an investigation, when in fact, the source of some of the information that was used not only to secure a FISA warrant, but to conduct a counterintelligence investigation may, in fact, have been part of a Russian disinformation campaign. Does that concern you?”

ROSENSTEIN: “It concerns me very much, Senator.”

“I think it’s important, Senator, for us to keep us in mind it is established, I believe, that Russia’s efforts included disparaging Hillary Clinton, as you said. That doesn’t mean Russia is on the other candidate’s side. Russia is on Russia’s side. I think we should be just as concerned if there is evidence they were disparaging, or attacking, or trying to undermine President Trump as we were about their activity with regard to Secretary Clinton.”

CORNYN: “I agree with you. The point I was trying to make is the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation based almost entirely on the allegations of Christopher Steele and the sources he provided, which may have in fact been part of a Russian disinformation campaign, which has successfully divided the country and created a lot of chaos in the ensuing three and a half years.”

ROSENSTEIN: “Whether it’s Russian disinformation or other disinformation, I think the FBI needs to figure out where did it come from, why was it submitted, and were any crimes committed? I think that’s an appropriate area of investigation.”