Today, the House Committee Chairmen, Bob Goodlatte (Judiciary), Trey Gowdy (Government Oversight), and Devin Nunes (Intelligence) sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein demanding that he release to those committees the memos prepared by disgraced (haha, loved writing that) former FBI director James Comey memorializing his meetings with President Trump. And they want the items by close of business Monday.
This will be the third fight Rosenstein has picked with the House and three times he’s been rolled. The first mauling of Rosenstein was over declassification the House Intelligence committee memo, remember, that was the whole campaign, totes organized by Russian twitter trolls. The second rolling was just last week when Rosenstein, under threat of a contempt of Congress citation, provided the unredacted FISA warrant on Carter Page to the House Judiciary Committee.
The fight also comes at a very bad time for Rosenstein. Comey’s book is in the bookstore, he’s on the television circuit regaling the nation with stories of Trump’s raccoon eyes and Russian hookers giving Golden Showers. Trump’s personal lawyer has just been raided by the FBI and Rosenstein was the guy who gave, or acquiesced, the go-ahead. And we are told the White House is looking for a way to fire Rosenstein that isn’t tied to Mueller. If he doesn’t hand over the Comey memos by Monday, Trump has just been handed that reason on a silver platter by Rosenstein.
In the Army we had an expression called “being captured” by an organization. The idea was that you had a finite amount of time to make substantive changes in an organization, around six months, before you adopted the cultural norms and biases of the organization and stopped seeing what it was doing wrong and became incapable of making change and maybe part of the problem.
Rosenstein has been captured by the DOJ headquarters bureaucracy. Instead of acting in the interests of the administration of which he’s a part and in the interests of justice, he’s acting to cover the asses of a lawless bureaucracy. By now he should realize that he’s getting really bad, horrible, atrocious advice on how to deal with Congress and what dynamics are at play. But he doesn’t. And that is a problem. Or he does know, doesn’t care, and that is an even bigger problem.