Rod Rosenstein

Rosenstein Will Call on House to Investigate Its Own Staff

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s “ongoing battle with House Republicans reached new heights Tuesday, as the No. 2 senior leader of the Justice Department plans to call on the House to investigate its own committee staff,” CNN reports.

“Rosenstein has butted heads with House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes for months over a subpoena for documents related to the Russia investigation, but the battle spilled out into public view Tuesday after Fox News reported staff on the committee felt ‘personally attacked’ at a meeting with Rosenstein in January.”

Rosenstein Tries to Buy Time In Face of Trump Demands

In response to President Trump demanding an investigation into whether the FBI “infiltrated” his presidential campaign, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “asked its internal watchdog, the Office of the Inspector General, to expand its current inquiry into the surveillance of a former Trump campaign official to include the questions raised by the president,” the New York Times reports.

Said Rosenstein: “If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action.”

“By handing the question to the inspector general, Mr. Rosenstein appeared to be trying to thread the needle, giving the president what he said he wanted without fully bowing to his demands. But it was not clear whether that would satisfy Mr. Trump, who in February complained that it was ‘disgraceful’ for the Justice Department to hand over the surveillance investigation to an inspector general who lacks prosecutorial power, saying it would ‘take forever’ and suggesting that he was ‘an Obama guy.'”

House Conservatives Mull Impeaching Rosenstein

“Conservative House allies of President Trump have drafted articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the ongoing special-counsel probe, setting up a possible GOP showdown over the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election,” the Washington Post reports.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) acknowledged the draft in an interview, calling the one-page document “a last resort option.”

Sessions Warned He Would Quit If Rosenstein Fired

Attorney General Jeff Sessions “recently told the White House he might have to leave his job if President Trump fired his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election,” the Washington Post reports.

“Sessions made his position known in a phone call to White House counsel Donald McGahn last weekend, as Trump’s fury at Rosenstein peaked after the deputy attorney general approved the FBI’s raid April 9 on the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen.”

Rosenstein Told Trump He’s Not a Target in Probe

“Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told President Trump last week that he isn’t a target of any part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation,” Bloomberg reports.

“Rosenstein, who brought up the Mueller probe himself, offered the assurance during a meeting with Trump at the White House last Thursday… After the meeting, Trump told some of his closest advisers that it’s not the right time to remove either man since he’s not a target of the probe.”

While this may be literally true, it can be subject to change at any time.

Rosenstein Tells Confidants He’s Prepared to Be Fired

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “has struck a stoic and righteous tone in private conversations he has had this week about the fate of his job as President Trump has launched public criticism against him and considered firing him,” NBC News reports.

“One source who spoke to Rosenstein said he seemed fully aware he may soon lose his job and was at peace with the possibility, confident he had done his job with integrity.”

Also interesting: “Rosenstein has said in recent private conversations that history will prove he did the right thing by firing Comey in May 2017, claiming that the American people do not have all the facts about what led to his decision to write the memo that led to Comey’s dismissal.”

For insight into what would happen next, listen to the latest episode of Political Wire Conversations with Asha Rangappa.

Confidants Say Trump Will Soon Fire Sessions, Rosenstein

Wall Street Journal: “Two people who spoke to Mr. Trump during the week said they came away thinking both Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who appointed Mr. Mueller, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions would soon be gone, potentially sparking a political and constitutional crisis.”

Said one: “It’s a matter of when, not if.”

White House Prepping Effort to Undermine Rosenstein

“The White House is preparing talking points designed to undermine Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s credibility,” CNN reports.

“The plan calls on President Donald Trump’s allies to cast Rosenstein as too conflicted to fairly oversee the Russia investigation.The talking points are still in their preliminary form, and not yet finalized.”

Trump Discussed Firing Rosenstein with Aides

President Trump discussed firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein with White House aides on Wednesday, Bloomberg reports, “as a chorus of Trump’s advisers and allies urged him to thwart the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

“Egged on by some of his strongest supporters, Trump has taken an increasingly combative posture toward special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation after FBI agents descended on the office and home of his lawyer Michael Cohen on Monday.”

The Week: Trump’s favorite Fox News analysts are urging him to fire Rosenstein.

Rosenstein Signed Off On Raid of Trump’s Attorney

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein personally signed off on Monday’s FBI decision to raid the office of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney and longtime confidant, the New York Times reports.

“The early-morning searches enraged Mr. Trump, associates said, setting off an angry public tirade Monday evening that continued in private at the White House as the president fumed about whether he should fire Mr. Rosenstein. The episode has deeply unsettled White House aides, Justice Department officials and lawmakers from both parties, who believe the president may use it as a pretext to purge the team leading the investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 election.”

Sessions Dines with Rosenstein in Show of Solidarity

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had dinner tonight with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Solicitor General Noel Francisco, Axios reports.

“The symbolism was unmistakable: the three top ranking officials in the Justice Department appearing together in a show of solidarity on the same day Trump is publicly and privately raging about Sessions.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Well, the president has the ability to fire his at-will employees, so if the president fired Rosenstein, I would support that. I think that there are a lot of people in American — especially in my district of Kentucky — that are disappointed in the attorney general and Rosenstein, and you know, if there is something there with Russia, then let’s get it out. This whole Russia investigation has been a big distraction.”

— Rep. James Comer (R-KY), talking to CNN about the possibility of President Trump firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Trump Says Memo Will Help Him Discredit Investigation

President Trump “continues to tell his associates he believed the highly controversial Republican memo alleging the FBI abused its surveillance tools could help discredit the Russia investigation,” CNN reports.

“In phone calls last night and over the past days, Trump has told friends he believes the memo would expose bias within the agency’s top ranks and make it easier for him to argue the Russia investigations are prejudiced against him.”

Also important: “People familiar with the President’s thinking say the fate of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein remains in question amid the expected release of the Nunes memo.”

For members: Trump Sure Seems to Be Hiding Something

Trump Asked Rosenstein If He Was ‘On My Team’

“Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein visited the White House in December seeking President Trump’s help. The top Justice Department official in the Russia investigation wanted Trump’s support in fighting off document demands from House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes,” CNN reports.

“But the President had other priorities ahead of a key appearance by Rosenstein on the Hill… Trump wanted to know where the special counsel’s Russia investigation was heading. And he wanted to know whether Rosenstein was ‘on my team.'”