Goodbye Rod, Hope To See You Again - In Court

Deputy Attorney General-designate, federal prosecutor Rod Rosenstein, listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Fox News has reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave the Department of Justice by mid-March. A senior DOJ official told Fox that Rosenstein is expected to be replaced by Jeffrey Rosen who currently serves as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Rosen’s online biography can be viewed here.


Rosen, a graduate of Northwestern University and Harvard Law School, served in the George W. Bush administration “as General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor for the White House Office of Management and Budget (2006 to 2009) and as General Counsel at the Department of Transportation (2003 to 2006).”

Inexplicably, it’s been said that President Trump and Rosenstein had a good relationship. True or not, the revelations of fired-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe have definitely soured any affinity Trump may have toward him. The President sent out the following tweets on Monday.

After Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Trump/Russian collusion case, Rosenstein took over. As we all know, he was responsible for appointing Robert Mueller to the special counsel to investigate Trump following the firing of James Comey. (Details of the story can be read here and here.)


On Monday, Fox News reported some new developments in the case. Former top FBI lawyer James Baker testified before the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees in October behind closed doors. (Fox News has confirmed the following testimony with members of Congress.)

Baker: “I never did a legal analysis of this matter because after the conversation came up it was quickly dismissed.”

Baker was asked who dismissed the reported wire proposal.

Baker: “A, I don’t know, but, B, my belief is that it was just not something that made any sense to do. It was too risky. It just would not pay the benefits. It wouldn’t obtain the information that they thought it would obtain, so it just was one of these things that didn’t make sense from a commonsense perspective, despite any legal analysis.”

He was asked how long the wire issue was discussed.

Baker:  “…A couple of days or something, yes.”

Congressional investigators asked Baker how he had heard about the talks.

Baker: “I was being told by some combination of Andy McCabe and Lisa Page, that, in a conversation with the Deputy Attorney General, he had stated that he — this was what was related to me — that he had at least two members of the president’s Cabinet who were ready to support, I guess you would call it, an action under the 25th Amendment.”

FBI lawyer Sally Moyer also testified in a closed-door hearing before Congress in October. Moyer said that she sometimes commuted to work with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.


Moyer was asked what Lisa Page’s reaction was when Rod Rosenstein said he had been “sarcastic” when he said he should wear a wire to secretly record the president.

Moyer: “It was when the news hit about the wiretap and the department’s position and what they were saying happened, and she was indicating she did not believe that they were telling the truth,”

She was then asked if she thought the FBI would have received a warrant from the FISA Court without the dossier.

Moyer:  “The chances of securing a 2016 surveillance warrant for a Trump campaign aide were only “50/50” without the controversial anti-Trump dossier.”

Investigators then asked “whether the FBI would have been able to establish probable cause if the application “did not have the Christopher Steele information in it?”

Moyer:  “So I think it’s a close call, like 50/50, 51/49. I really think it’s a close call.”

Even those, like Moyer, who participated only peripherally in this unfolding drama, can help fill in the blanks. It’s likely that, because they have nothing to hide, they will be more forthcoming than those who were more deeply involved. Perhaps this is the way to go.

Clearly Rod Rosenstein played an enormous role in the coup against the President. He wrote the memo which outlined the case for firing Comey. After Comey was fired, he faced tremendous backlash from his supporters. Once he appointed Mueller to the special counsel, however, he returned to their good graces. Throughout the Congressional investigation, he withheld records from Republican lawmakers that would prove damaging to the DOJ and the FBI. At one point, after being threatened with a “contempt of Congress” charge, he allowed several committee chairmen to view, but not take with them, a heavily redacted copy of the document. He also signed off on the last FISA Court renewal application for the warrant to spy on Carter Page. Although Rosenstein has downplayed his role in the debacle, he has been a central player.


Hopefully, we’ll be hearing from him soon…from a witness stand.


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