When U.S. Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Rod Rosenstein was confirmed on April 26, 2017, by Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions, he assumed the #2 role in the Department of Justice (DOJ). Primary duties of this office involve overseeing daily operations of the Department. When the Attorney General is absent, the DAG acts as Attorney General.
Early in his term, Rosenstein was also tapped to investigate Democrat-driven allegations that President Trump colluded with Russian agents to swing the 2016 election against challenger Hillary Clinton.
A classified Republican memo that went public in February 2018 named Rosenstein as responsible for approving continued surveillance of Trump’s foreign policy advisor Carter Page (an energy industry consultant with longstanding ties to Russia) in the spring of 2017 – due to Justice Department suspicions that Page might be a Russian agent.
Those suspicions have yet to be proved after more than a year of investigation, and in July 2018, Page denied the accusation. Calling himself an “informal advisor” to the Kremlin, Page said, “There was nothing in terms of nefarious behavior.”
Ironically, it was DAG Rosenstein who routed the memo to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on May 9, 2017.
The Nunes memo – so-called for Republican Representative Devin Nunes, House Intelligence Committee Chair who released it to the public – further fueled the Commander-in-Chief’s dislike for the second-ranked federal law enforcement officer.
Republican legislators have criticized Rosenstein harshly for obstructing their requests for documentation on the ongoing Russia collusion conspiracy which is headed by Robert Mueller. These unhappy lawmakers have suggested impeaching Rosenstein.
Trump has been at odds with Rosenstein over the Russia inquiry since its inception and has hinted that if the DAG continues defending Mueller, the DAG might need to look for another job.
For his part, Rosenstein is not happy that the Nunes memo (which questioned how FBI Director James Comey was conducting the Hillary Clinton email server investigation) was used by the Trump administration to justify firing Comey in May 2017.
But Comey’s termination is understandable after reading what Rosenstein actually wrote about the situation:
“The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, 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. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.”
Now, a huge bombshell has just landed: news has come to light that, in the first half of 2017, Rosenstein made conspiratorial conversation with other Justice Department and FBI officials about how to bring down the newly-elected GOP president. He proposed making secret recordings – wearing a wire – to gather intelligence for later use as a weapon against Trump.
The high-ranking government co-conspirators also mulled over having Cabinet officials invoke the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which details how a president’s leadership team can remove their chief from office under extraordinary circumstances:
“It provides that a president can be removed if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet determines he or she is ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties’ of the office. If the president contests the finding, and the vice president and cabinet persist, Congress can order the president’s removal by a two-thirds vote in both chambers.”
Early evidence points to these discussions occurring soon after Comey was fired from his FBI duties.
The New York Times printed the story and Rosenstein called it “inaccurate and factually incorrect.” He condemned the anonymous sources who have spread this information and contradicted accusations that he plotted to build a case for ridding the Oval Office of The Donald. Then he said:
“But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
Later, Rosenstein told Politico:
“I never pursued or authorized recording the president and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the president is absolutely false.”
Either Rosenstein is telling the truth now and was just joking around sarcastically with some of the boys over at the DOJ during the first weeks of his 2017 DAG appointment, or he is covering his you-know-what in order to keep what’s left of his career at the White House.
Either way, our money is short on Rosenstein. This new information only gives President Trump more reason to replace the DAG with a party loyalist.
The only question worth betting on now is: will Rosenstein make it to the midterms?