The Only Way Ron Rosenstein Redeems Himself is by Appointing a Special Prosecutor
So now we know via a huge Washington Post piece-30 sources!-that Rosenstein is very upset that he’s been sold as the mastermind for Comey’s firing as Trump tried to sell it. He’s now threatening to quit.
“Rosenstein threatened to resign after the narrative emerging from the White House on Tuesday evening cast him as a prime mover of the decision to fire Comey and that the president acted only on his recommendation, said the person close to the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.”
This actually makes me feel-marginally-better about Rosenstein. One of my reactions to the Comey firing yesterday was how is it that unlike after Nixon fired Archibald Cox, nobody quit? Now we hear that at least Rosenstein considered quitting.
He certainly must be glad to get that news out there. Because his reputation has taken a terrible hit since he let himself be sold as the mastermind of the Comey firing.
I've known Rod Rosenstein a long time. I've always thought well of him. I was cheered by his nomination.
I misjudged him completely.
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) May 10, 2017
Wittes is still far from mollified over revelation that Rosenstein has been threatening to quit after the fact.
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) May 11, 2017
Yes. The optics for Rosenstein are just horrible here. Especially when you add the story we heard yesterday that Comey had requested an increase in resources for the Russia collusion probe from: Rosenstein.
Morning Joe himself this morning demanded that Congress investigate this; how after Comey asked Rosenstein for more resources he was summarily fired-supposedly by Rosenstein. So what happened? You worry it might have been a timeline like this.
1. Comey asks Rosenstein more resources.
2. Rosenstein tells Herr Trump about this Comey request.
3. Trump tells Rosenstein to write a justification.
How much was Rosenstein himself implicated in this decision?
So his reputation-which had been sterling-has really taken a hit.
The relationship between James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein got off to a seemingly normal start.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation director met his new boss fresh on the job that Mr. Rosenstein started on April 27, to tell him about the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. “His first day in office I briefed him on where we are,” Mr. Comey told lawmakers last week.
“They met on May 1, each with their own staff member, to discuss a range of department business, according to agency officials.”
“The next day, Mr. Rosenstein penned a memo saying he didn’t understand Mr. Comey’s “refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken” in how he handled the investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s email use.”
He didn’t specifically recommend Mr. Comey be fired, but said: “The FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.”
What Rosenstein said about Comey was correct of course, but it had nothing to do with why he was fired and it was not for Trump to fire him as Comey was investigating him.
Democrats say Mr. Rosenstein now must remove himself from the probe. “Serious doubt has been cast on Mr. Rosenstein’s impartiality,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), said on the Senate floor on Wednesday, calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor for the Russia investigation. “Mr. Rosenstein cannot be the person to appoint that person,” Mr. Schumer said.
FBI agents speaking on background told reporters yesterday that while Rosenstein previously had a sterling reputation, the only way he can redeem this reputation now is to appoint a special prosecutor.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
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