Did Rod Rosenstein Just Attempt to Obstruct Justice?
Talk about raising a lot more questions than being answered! What is Rosenstein up to here?
“Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein generated a lot of buzz but little clarity Thursday night with a statement urging Americans to “exercise caution” when evaluating stories attributed to anonymous officials.”
“Why Rosenstein would suddenly make that comment, or any comment, after having made no comment to story after story attributed to anonymous sources, remained a mystery.”
“The full statement read:
Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch of agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated. Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.
“In response to the stories, Trump, in tweets, expressed frustration, saying he is the target of “the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history.”
“Rosenstein’s statement started a whole new round of speculation as people attempted to divine its meaning, its timing and its purpose, whether or not it was meant to discredit some particular story, all stories generally or some future story yet to be published.”
Indeed, all sorts of new questions are raised. For one-what country it’s from? This would seem to confirm that there have been and will be leaks from some of our allies’ intel. From Five Eyes, etc. And the beauty of that is there isn’t even technically any crime in that.
Rosenstein’s statement is also counterproductive on its own terms.
“The Rosenstein statement suggests there must be a heck of a Trump story coming based on alleged information from anonymous foreign officials,” tweeted conservative commentator Bill Kristol.
Exactly-whatever they are trying to tamp down on it must be a doozy.
But this opens up some new uncomfortable questions about Rosenstein himself. In Claude Taylor’s terms-as he puts it on Twitter-is Rosenstein a ‘black hat or a white hat?’
That he allowed himself to have his name on that form that fired Comey made you suspect a black hat. He has since done some things to redeem himself-appointing the Special Counsel and agreeing that he will recuse himself if he himself becomes part of Robert Mueller’s probe.
So then it left you feeling like maybe he’s a white hat. But this raises the question all over again. Because he sounds like Herr Trump’s mouthpiece now.
And now it's just hanging out there as something for congress to ask Rosenstein about: What was that statement? Who asked you to make it?
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) June 16, 2017
So whatever credibility Rosenstein had won back, he’s now thrown away again. It gives new meaning to James Comey’s warning about Rosenstein to Ben Wittes in a private conversation they had in March-but that Wittes recently revealed.
“He said one other thing that day that, in retrospect, stands out in my memory: he expressed wariness about the then-still-unconfirmed deputy attorney general nominee, Rod Rosenstein. This surprised me because I had always thought well of Rosenstein and had mentioned his impending confirmation as a good thing. But Comey did not seem enthusiastic. The DOJ does need Senate-confirmed leadership, he agreed, noting that Dana Boente had done a fine job as acting deputy but that having confirmed people to make important decisions was critical. And he agreed with me that Rosenstein had a good reputation as a solid career guy.”
That said, his reservations were palpable. “Rod is a survivor,” he said. And you don’t get to survive that long across administrations without making compromises. “So I have concerns.”
I guess this is the most charitable read of Rosenstein’s statement:
I would put that Rosenstein statement more in the "giving Trump enough rope" bucket than in the "succumbing to pressure" bucket.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) June 16, 2017
Some wondered, without any evidence, whether the statement was the result of pressure from the White House. Others dismissed that possibility.
“I would put that Rosenstein statement more in the ‘giving Trump enough rope’ bucket than in the ‘succumbing to pressure’ bucket,” tweeted Matt Yglesias of Vox.
Others are less charitable:
— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) June 16, 2017
Rosenstein's statement clearly came from trump. Why, when this clown potus says "jump", does rod say "how high"? ?????
— steven pasquale (@StevePasquale) June 16, 2017
The Business Insider:
“Trump allies are reportedly worried they are unable to calm the president’s anguish.”
“By some accounts, Trump’s behavior has become increasingly volatile as the Mueller-led Russia investigation expands. Politico’s Josh Dawsey on Thursday painted a stark picture of Trump’s preoccupation with the matter:
“Trump, for months, has bristled almost daily at the ongoing probes. He has sometimes, without prompting, injected “I’m not under investigation” into conversations with associates and allies. He has watched hours of TV coverage every day — sometimes even storing morning news shows on his TiVo to watch in the evening — and complained nonstop.”
Preet Bharara weigns in:
Where is Rod Rosenstein's overdue statement responding to the President's repeated attacks on his appointment of Robert Mueller? pic.twitter.com/y7dwtWTQ4G
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) June 16, 2017
Remember what LBJ said about J Edgar Hoover ‘Better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in?’ Not that I’m comparing Bharara to Hoover-that’d be very unfair to Bharara who oozes integrity from every pore.
Bharara’s firing may well have been another case of obstruction of justice and I think it’s pretty safe to assume as Mueller considers obstruction of justice, he also considers Trump’s conduct in the firing of Bharara.
In other words, his firing may well be another article of impeachment.
P.S. So the Gravis poll against Peter King NY2 and it has good news-almost too good to believe.
In my March poll I trailed King by 11 and thought that was very good news. Now Gravis has me up by 10? Still, the moment of truth is next week when Gravis writes up the press release.
And-yes-I do need donations if I have any hope of bringing around the local party to seeing that I am the chance to break out of the party’s long losing streak against King.
Whether you live in NY 2 or across the country, you can donate. As yourself whether you cannot afford even $5 or $10 dollars.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Peter King is on the House intelligence committee. I think we all know that he will never be any part of the solution for getting to the bottom of Trump Russia.
Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
We can have a Dem Congress, we must have a Dem Cogress, and we will.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.