Check Out What Really Happened

Weasel words, weasel moves from an emotionally overwrought deputy AG eager to ingratiate himself with Democrats

Rod Rosenstein is even a weasel when repudiating his weasel moves. Here (with my italics) is the deputy attorney general’s non-denial denial of a New York Times report Friday that he brainstormed about ousting President Trump in May 2017:

The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect. . . . 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.

Let’s parse this.

  • The Times story “is inaccurate and factually incorrect.” Rosenstein won’t say exactly what is wrong in the report. He is careful not to say that the gist of the report is wrong — he just hopes that, if he sounds indignant enough, you will hear it that way. The Times may have gotten a few details wrong, but you can bet the story is essentially true.
  • You can’t trust “anonymous sources”: this from the guy who, in approving a FISA warrant application to spy on an American political campaign, relied on anonymous sources — some of them Russian operatives — who were channeling information through a foreign spy from whom the Justice Department continued to take information even after telling a federal court that the spy had been cut out of the investigation for leaking to the media.
  • And my favorite: Rosenstein knows “there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment” against President Trump. Of course, that does not respond to what the Times report actually says, which is that back in May 2017, when he was an emotional wreck because Democrats were being mean to him, Rosenstein urged that there might at that time be a basis to remove the president under the 25th Amendment (specifically, Section 4) if he could get enough top officials to agree that Trump was unfit to discharge his duties.

The Times account is based on multiple unnamed sources and draws on memoranda about interactions with Rosenstein, written by the FBI’s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, and other officials. The Times creates ambiguity about whether its journalists have actually seen these memos. Times reporters Adam Goldman and Michael S. Schmidt indicate that the chirpy anonymous officials with whom they spoke “were briefed either on the events themselves or on [the] memos” — implying that the journalists are relying on their sources’ accounts of the memos. Yet, the report subsequently adds a quote from McCabe’s lawyer, Michael Bromwich, who says his client “has no knowledge of how any member of the media obtained those memos.”

Miscalculating the Comey Firing
In any event, we learn that, shortly after being confirmed as deputy AG in April 2017 (i.e., weeks after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from matters related to the 2016 campaign and Russia’s meddling in the election), Rosenstein was openly supportive of President Trump’s desire to fire FBI director James Comey — to the dismayed surprise of White House aides then trying to talk the president out of doing so. Rosenstein is said to have volunteered to write the memo about Comey’s mishandling of the Hillary Clinton–emails investigation, and to have been sufficiently enthusiastic about this assignment that he “turned [the memo] in shortly after.”

Certainly, the substance

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/rod-rosenstein-resistance-pr...

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