September 24, 2018 / 4:03 PM / 3 months ago

Ex FBI official: Russia probe at risk if Rosenstein departs

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sits in the front row at the start of Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh's Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said on Monday he was “deeply concerned” about reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was stepping down, saying his departure would put at risk the federal probe into Russian election activities.

“There is nothing more important to the integrity of law enforcement and the rule of law than protecting the investigation of Special Counsel (Robert) Mueller,” McCabe said in a statement. “If the rumors of Deputy AG’s Rosenstein’s departure are true, I am deeply concerned that it puts that investigation at risk.”

McCabe was fired by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March after the Justice Department’s internal watchdog accused him of misconduct. McCabe charged that he was targeted for being a witness into whether President Donald Trump tried to obstruct the probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Doina Chiacu

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