When the Department of Justice revealed to the public that they had obtained 12 new indictments in the Russian investigation, some believed it was timed to damage President Donald Trump ahead of his summit in Helsinki.
Here’s what we now know
According to CNN’s Marshall Cohen, it appears that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein notified the White House about the indictments, and gave them the opportunity to postpone the announcements until after the summit.
CNN can now confirm Rod Rosenstein did in fact give Trump the option to delay announcing the Russian hacking indictment until *after* the Helsinki summit. The White House told Rosenstein it was OK to announce before the summit, so he did. (from @Kevinliptakcnn and @LauraAJarrett)
— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) July 17, 2018
“CNN can now confirm Rod Rosenstein did in fact give Trump the option to delay announcing the Russian hacking indictment until *after* the Helsinki summit,” he tweeted.
“The White House told Rosenstein it was OK to announce before the summit, so he did,” he added.
“They informed him… and he did nothing”
President Trump appeared to offer subtle corroboration of the news when he was asked by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson to comment on the timing of the indictments, and he deflected the question and answered something else.
“You spoke with the Russian president about the hacking of the DNC servers,” Carlson said to the president in an interview published Tuesday. “Those indictments were announced just a couple of days before you left on your European swing. What do you think of the timing?
“Well, I don’t think of the timing, as much as I think of other timing,” Trump deflected.
“Barack Obama was president, I wasn’t president when this happened,” he explained. “Barack Obama was the president of the United States when all of this, this was pre, this was when I was getting elected, so, I was being elected, and I guess, I assume this stuff all took place in that area or before.”
“And he was president, and they informed him of it, and he did nothing,” Trump said.
Allies of the president have called for the impeachment of Rosenstein for what they see as improper obstruction of congressional investigations into the Department of Justice. Some took the timing of the indictments as a sign of hostility from Rosenstein, but it appears that this was a false speculation.
Here’s the video of Trump’s comments to Carlson: