The Infamous Mueller Investigation Scope Memo Has Been Declassified and It's Bad News for Rod Rosenstein

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Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein gives opening remarks at the Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)


The infamous Mueller investigation scope memo has finally, after years of speculation, been made public. It’s bad news for Rod Rosenstein.

As I wrote a little over a week ago, Rosenstein has managed to cunningly straddle the fence, largely getting conservatives to defend him while also ingratiating himself to FBI defenders because of his role in starting the Mueller investigation. But his knowledge of the corruption in the Flynn prosecution was a pretty big sign that he’s not an innocent bystander in all this (see Chuck Grassley Reveals that Rod Rosenstein Knew of Flynn Case Corruption, Resisted Oversight Anyway).

In the case of Rosenstein, you almost have to respect the way he’s managed to manipulate his way into the good graces of both sides. This is the same guy who talked about wearing a wire to entrap the President, yet you’ll still find many on the right defending him because he put the Mueller investigation in place. My suspicions of his motives and actions are more cynical.

Now, the level to which Rosenstein bought into the Steele dossier and helped propagate the sham Mueller investigation with it has been revealed.


Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s memo authorizing Robert Mueller’s anti-Trump investigation was riddled with conspiracy theories lifted straight from the bogus dossier of Christopher Steele, a newly released, less redacted version of the memo shows. The memo, portions of which were declassified on April 30, 2020, specifically targeted former Trump campaign affiliates Carter Page, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, and one individual whose identity is redacted.

As has been covered here at RedState (see FBI Knew Russian Intelligence Was Monitoring and Probably Influencing Christopher Steele’s Dossier and Still Used It), the FBI and DOJ were well aware, prior to the Mueller investigation, that the Steele dossier was nonsense. They had even been informed that its chief source was a liar. No one at the FBI and DOJ had any actual evidence that Donald Trump really had hookers pee on his bed or that Carter Page was a Russian agent. In fact, they had ample evidence all of those claims were false and that the entire Steele dossier was Russian disinformation.

Yet, Rosenstein cited it anyway as the very basis for the Mueller investigation.

Rosenstein ordered Mueller to investigate allegations that Page “committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election[.]” The same language was used to justify the targeting of Manafort.

Rosenstein’s memo also peddled discredited legal theories about the Logan Act, a 1799 law criminalizing political speech by American citizens that has never been successfully prosecuted, to justify investigations of former White House National Security Adviser (NSA) Michael Flynn. The scope memo directed Mueller to investigate allegations that Flynn “committed a crime or crimes by engaging in conversations with Russian officials during the period of the Trump transition.”


Of course, you’ll still get stupidity like this in response to these revelations.

The accusations against Page are straight from the Steele dossier. They are made nowhere else. The “crime” mentioned involving Flynn in the memo is the Logan Act. None of this is ambiguous and anyone trying to pretend that Rosenstein is off the hook because he didn’t use the term “Steele dossier” in the memo is being incredibly intellectually dishonest.

Let’s recall that Rep. Devin Nunes saw this memo back in 2019 and was attacked for suggesting it showed malfeasance involving the Steele dossier.

“[I]t’s clear that false allegations from the Steele dossier played a major role not only in the FISA warrant application on Page, but in the appointment of the Special Counsel as well,” Nunes said in a statement after a lengthy report detailing Mueller’s investigation was released in 2019. Until now, those facts had been hidden behind redactions in the Rosenstein document.

Once again, Nunes was proven right. Everything he said about the memo is true according to the newly unredacted portions.

In summary, Rosenstein was directly in the middle of all the corruption surrounding the Russia and Mueller investigations. Instead of stopping Mueller from prosecuting Flynn, knowing he had been set up, he let it happen and then defended it to Congress. Instead of telling Mueller he couldn’t use the bogus Steele dossier, he used it as a basis for Mueller’s scope. The entire time that Rosenstein has been smiling at Republicans and pretending he wasn’t part of Comey’s cabal, he absolutely was.


I’ll end with Lindsey Graham’s comment on the matter.

If only someone named Lindsey Graham ran a committee that could call these people to testify and get them to answer questions about their misbehavior, criminal or otherwise.



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