About a year ago, the New York Times ran an explosive piece, based, naturally, on one or more anonymous sources. The story alleged that in 2017, shortly after James Comey, Mr. Professor of Ethical Leadership, was given the heave-ho by President Trump, that Rosenstein proposed to wear a wire into a meeting with the president. The reason for this extraordinary proposal? To get evidence to convince Trump’s own cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office.
Mr. Rosenstein made the remarks about secretly recording Mr. Trump and about the 25th Amendment in meetings and conversations with other Justice Department and F.B.I. officials. Several people described the episodes in interviews over the past several months, insisting on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The people were briefed either on the events themselves or on memos written by F.B.I. officials, including Andrew G. McCabe, then the acting bureau director, that documented Mr. Rosenstein’s actions and comments.
None of Mr. Rosenstein’s proposals apparently came to fruition. It is not clear how determined he was about seeing them through, though he did tell Mr. McCabe that he might be able to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security and now the White House chief of staff, to mount an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment.
The extreme suggestions show Mr. Rosenstein’s state of mind in the disorienting days that followed Mr. Comey’s dismissal. Sitting in on Mr. Trump’s interviews with prospective F.B.I. directors and facing attacks for his own role in Mr. Comey’s firing, Mr. Rosenstein had an up-close view of the tumult. Mr. Rosenstein appeared conflicted, regretful and emotional, according to people who spoke with him at the time.
Mr. Rosenstein disputed this account.
“The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect,” he said in a statement. “I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
Earlier this year, when disgraced former acting FBI Director Andy McCabe was on a book tour, he gave more details that backed up the New York Times story, see Andrew McCabe Claims Department Of Justice Tried To Organize President Trump’s Removal Under 25th Amendment.
Subsequently, Rosenstein has claimed that he was making a sarcastic response to a ridiculous question but, significantly, Rosenstein has not appeared before Congress since the New York Times article ran and, given his role, that is rather astounding.
Anyway, Tuesday, Georgia Republican Doug Collins released yet another transcript of a witness appearing before a joint session of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees during their investigation of the Russia collusion allegations. The witness was former FBI general counsel James Baker. He gave a lot of detail that seems to validate much of what appeared in the New York Times and in McCabe’s book.
According to Baker, the conversation in which Rosenstein proposed wearing a wire was common knowledge:
According to Baker, absolutely no one thought it was a joke.
Why would Rosenstein do this?
What the f***ing f***? Rosenstein was upset because his recommendation to fire James Comey was fired? And he thought he’d been misused and was out to get revenge? What exactly did he think was going to happen once he gave Trump his recommendation? That Comey was going to become a regular guest at Mar-A-Lago?
By the way if you want to know who leaked to the New York Times, re-read the above testimony and then this from the New York Times piece:
Mr. Rosenstein was just two weeks into his job. He had begun overseeing the Russia investigation and played a key role in the president’s dismissal of Mr. Comey by writing a memo critical of his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. But Mr. Rosenstein was caught off guard when Mr. Trump cited the memo in the firing, and he began telling people that he feared he had been used.