Saturday, April 27, 2019

A Very Good Day


One of the best days for Donald Trump in campaign 2016 was Halloween, when The New York Times misled the country with the headline "Investigating Donald Trump, FBI Sees No Clear Link to Russia."  Besides being highly misleading, it now appears- almost 30 months later- to have been flat-out inaccurate.

And one of (perhaps the) the best days of the Trump Administration transpired when The New York Times on September 21, 2008 reported

The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.

Rosenstein, as well as a Justice Department official present in the room denied that the remark was meant to be taken seriously, but almost no one bought that story and the damage was done. President Trump recognizes leverage when he sees it.

On October 17, 2018 the President met with Rosenstein on Air Force One, after which Trump- who has without evidence complained that President Obama wiretapped him-  declared he had "a good relationship" with the DAG, with whom he "had a very good talk." 

And a very good talk it probably was for Mr. Trump. Prescient Elie Honig and Mimi Rocah, both former US Attorneys at the SDNY, wrote a couple of weeks later

But the mere fact that Trump has summoned Rosenstein for the meeting creates an appearance—at a minimum—that Trump continues to try to exert influence over Mueller. That Rosenstein is attending the meeting similarly leaves open questions of what assurances he will have to give the president to remain in place.

Now we learn that Rosenstein was "teary eyed" in the meeting and told the President "I give the investigation credibility. I can land the plane." Pleading for his job, he then (and thereafter), told Trump that he believes the latter is being treated "unfairly,'" as described by The Washington Post.






The Post has reported that in Rosenstein's speech Thursday

“Some of the nonsense that passes for breaking news today would not be worth the paper it was printed on, if anybody bothered to print it,” he said.

He also criticized the Obama administration for not publicizing the “full story” about Russian hacking and social media influence operations.

Evidently concerned he wasn't being sufficiently transparent about his partisan bias, Rosenstein added “The rule of law is our most important principle. As President Trump pointed out, ‘we govern ourselves in accordance with the rule of law rather [than] . . . the whims of an elite few or the dictates of collective will’.”

A slightly more generous Elizabeth de la Vega, in two tweets, poses five questions (though #1 and #4 are similar):



"The big picture on Rod," Benjamin Wittes argues, "is extremely complicated."  Yet just barely, and without answers to questions such as those posed by de la Vega, it will become quite clear that Rod Rosenstein became severely compromised when reports of his threat to record the President emerged.  That report, as well as the one of September 21, 2008, could scarcely have been better for Donald J. Trump.








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