President Donald Trump has appointed a lawyer to oversee the investigation into Russia’s election meddling, after the White House had asked for the help.
Former U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, a Trump loyalist who was nominated to the federal bench by President Barack Obama, was tapped Tuesday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to oversee Mueller’s probe.
Trump’s top lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, was appointed to serve as the interim special counsel.
The appointment of Rosenstein is the latest twist in the president’s feud with Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The special counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, has been a focus of the probe since the beginning, with a team of prosecutors now looking into Russian election meddling.
The president’s lawyers have called Mueller a “rookie prosecutor” and said the president has no knowledge of the investigation.
“The president has complete confidence in the special counsel,” Kasowitz told reporters Tuesday, referring to Mueller.
Trump’s lawyers also say the president is not the subject of the inquiry, adding that he has no direct knowledge of any of the work being done.
The White House declined to comment.
Rosenstein is the third senior prosecutor appointed by Trump to a Trump-appointed court, after U.K. Attorney General Michael Gove and former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
The president has appointed other prosecutors who have been named to the court.
Romei Ginsburg, the former Democratic senator from New York who is currently the court’s third-highest court judge, is the highest-ranking member of the court appointed by the president to the bench.
She also sits on the U.N. Supreme Court, which is considering the country’s bid to overturn Trump’s travel ban.
The Trump administration also has appointed two other judges to the Supreme Court: Stephen Breyer, a conservative justice who helped lead the court in blocking Trump’s first travel ban, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the liberal-leaning court.
Trump has been dogged by questions about the scope of his investigation, including his decision to hire a former FBI agent to serve in his position.
Trump fired Mueller in May after he was appointed as special counsel after the FBI found that his campaign team was in contact with Russian officials during the 2016 election.
Mueller was tasked with investigating Russia and whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with the Kremlin during the election.
The investigation also has grown to include the Trump family and the president himself, including Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Mueller has also interviewed some of Trump’s family members and advisers.