Saturday, September 22, 2018

Russiagate: Et Tu , Rod Rosenstein?

If you've been anywhere near the news since about daybreak yesterday, you'll already know that the NYT reported that in a meeting of high level DOJ and FBI officials shortly after Slick Jim Comey was fired, Unctuous Rod Rosenstein and Lyin' Andy McCabe got into a spat about how to go about investigating the President, and Unctuous Rod reportedly said something to the effect of "What do you want me to do, Andy, wear a wire?" to secretly record the President, and discussed using the 25th Amendment to oust the president. You can read a hefty chunk of the NYT article at Power Line

The source is Lyin' Andy's notes. Apparently, it's FBI policy to get out of a meeting, and put your spin on it by writing it down the way that's good for you and bad for your opponents. Whether they were leaked by Lyin' Andy himself or some other miscreant with a bone to pick with Rod (we can assume anything from the NYT is designed to hurt President Trump somehow) is unclear at this point. McCabe, through representatives denied it:

The NYT assures us the statement was made in all seriousness (NY Times Reporter Stands by Rod Rosenstein Bombshell: ‘This Wasn’t a Flippant Remark’) , while NBC assures us the statement was made in just (Rosenstein joked about secretly recording Trump, Justice Department officials say). You know the truth is in trouble when you have to rely on these two sources.

Rosenstein has issued a typically lawyerly denial:
 '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.'
That being said, it's pretty clear about 7 high FBI and DOJ officials, including Unctuous Rod, were in a room together to discuss whether they should carry out a palace coupe of some sort. And they tell me there's no such thing as a Deep State. I was part of a similar cabal to remove a lab director once upon a time. I don't think we accomplished much, but he did leave.

Some reactions. Ace: NYT: Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein "Suggested" He Could Wear a Wire to Record Trump to Make a Case for a 25th Amendment Removal
Fire him.

A savvy analyst posits that this leak is all about Rosenstein trying to make himself unfireable. He's trying to drum up support from the leftwing (as if he needed more of it) that he's protecting the Deep State from Trump, and that any firing would therefore be another Obstruction of Justice or whatever.

Fire him. Fire him now. Damn the consequences. Fire his ass.
I do think a good case can be made that he's too conflicted to be part of anything higher than Human Resources. Ken Meyer at Mediaite:  Speculation Swirls That Bombshell NYT Report Was Planted to Sabotage Rosenstein. Well, somebody is trying to knife somebody, that's for sure. AllahPundit: No Big Deal: Rod Rosenstein Accused Of Wanting To Wear A Wire To Record Trump, Discussing 25th Amendment With Deputies; Update: Sarcasm?
Bear in mind that the AP reported six months ago that McCabe’s memos are now in Mueller’s possession. If that’s true then Mueller has had evidence for half a year that his own boss was seeking to participate in the investigation as a witness by gathering evidence on Trump firsthand or angling to remove the president from office by approaching cabinet members about removing the president as unfit. Has Mueller concluded that McCabe’s memos are untrustworthy? If not, has he approached Rosenstein about recusing himself, knowing how badly this will damage perceptions of the integrity of the investigation? Is Mueller planning to cite the memos as credible evidence of Trump’s behavior in his final report, and if so, what excuse will Rosenstein give for why he didn’t recuse himself?
As always, the best comments are at Althouse: "Rosenstein Suggested He Secretly Record Trump and Discussed 25th Amendment." And some of the worst, too.

But there is Russiagate news beyond Rosensteingate. Da Caller: EXCLUSIVE: Released Text Messages And Emails Show Mueller Team’s Cozy Relationship With Press. The Press keeps telling us that Mueller never leaks, but they're lying and they're part of the conspiracy:
Hundreds of pages of emails and text messages released from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) special counsel’s office through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show an ongoing relationship between Robert Mueller’s team and the press, according to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The documents, released in September, span months of communication and include messages from reporters ranging from a variety of outlets, including TheDCNF, The Washington Post and BuzzFeed.

While the vast majority of correspondences between Mueller’s spokesman Peter Carr and a variety of journalists ends with a “no comment,” the messages expose Mueller’s team was willing to meet with a number of reporters in private meetings and over the phone.

Coordinating such meetings cuts against the narrative that the special counsel has been hesitant to give information to the press, instead opting to give information only through public announcements and statements.
Through WaPo, an ex-CIA man, tells us Why Trump must not declassify the Carter Page warrant, most of which boils down to don't embarrass us by exposing our dirty underwear. Trump, in response to such whining  agrees to delay release of Russia files, asks IG to review amid DOJ concerns, after international allies (presumably the UK and Australia) objected to the fact that their scheming to take him down, both before and after the election, would be exposed. Trump now owns them.

Ace: Texts Show Disagreement Among Allegedly-Unified Intelligence Community Members on Russian Interference; Some Dismissed Accusations as Coming from Those "With Partisan Axes to Grind"
But I thought they were unanimous and the evidence was unquestionable.

Strangely enough, some of these concerns were voiced by... Peter Strzok, who is himself an intense partisan, but who apparently found some partisans too partisan.
For instance, then-FBI agent Peter Strzok's text and email messages in December 2016 and January 2017 show his boss feared that giving some classified information to the White House, then-Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper and the larger intelligence community in the final days of the Obama administration might result in political abuse.
Opinion of Mueller helped by Manafort plea deal. But not much help: "42% of Americans approve of how Mueller is handling the investigation.

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