WASHINGTON: On April 25, 2017, the Senate confirmed Rod Rosenstein to be Deputy A.G. At the time Rosenstein, a Republican, was the nation’s longest-serving U.S.attorney employed as the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland. Rosenstein was nominated to the U.S. Attorney position by President George Bush in May 2005.
Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself in all matters related to the Russian interference investigation, Rosenstein assumed control. He selected Robert Mueller to be the special prosecutor on May 17, 2017. This after being Assistant Attorney General for less than 30 days.
Also a Republican, Mueller was the former director of the FBI.
Mueller instructions were to investigate ties between the Trump Organization and Russian officials. To reveal if Russians interfered with the November 2016 elections. Mueller was instructed to find out if there was any collusion between Trump, or others from his campaign, and the Russians, in order to sway the election.
The Deputy A.G. appointed the special prosecutor after the Democrats and some Republicans put pressure on Rod Rosenstein. At the time, Rosenstein says,
“My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination.”
“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly.”
Unfortunately for President Trump, this matter has dragged on for nearly a year and a half.
So far it appears that there has been no evidence of collusion between the Trump organization and the Russians.
Mueller then investigated whether Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey. Even though Rosenstein suggested that Comey should be fired.
Again there was no evidence of obstruction of justice.
Republicans in the House of Representatives began to question to the sincerity of the entire process, especially since Rosenstein signed one of the FISA warrant applications. That FISA application was to surveil an American without fully disclosing to the FISA court Judge all of the details of the supposed evidence to support a search warrant on an American citizen.
Later the Deputy A.G. testified under oath admitted that he never actually read the warrant application.
According to memos from other FBI officials, the FISA warrant application was heavily based on information from the unverified dossier. A document containing information that was less than truthful and was funded by members of the opposing political party. The Clintons.
Trump became very angry with Rosenstein.
“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director. Witch hunt.” ‘
Trump later claiming that Mueller chose “13 angry Democrats” to probe the allegations against him.
“I’m not a Democrat and I’m not angry,” Rod Rosenstein says in response.
Trump decided to stay with Rosenstein and not fire him. That position held until recently. Rosenstein, according to sources, revealed that Rosenstein asked if he should wear a wire when speaking with the president. If he should record those private conversations. Those recording used to invoke the 25th amendment to the Constitution. The 25th says that a president may be removed from office by a vote of his cabinet if they deem him to be unfit to carry out the duties of the office.
The leak as reported in the New York Times looks like both Rosenstein and Mueller want to get Trump out of office. At all costs.
Initially, Rosenstein denied saying either of those things. Only later did he admit saying them but that he was being sarcastic and really didn’t mean it.
Either way, the President has a right to have a staff around him, particularly his higher staff, that are loyal to the President.
Trump – making lemonade out of a lemon
Many Republicans want Rosenstein fired. Rosenstein was ready to resign to General Kelly, but Trump said he wanted to speak with him in person. Today, at a presser following the UN Conference, Trump did not indicate what he would do. However, he did not imply that firing Rosenstein was a fait accompli.
It has been rumored that in the past few weeks, Rosenstein and Trump have been meeting on a regular basis. Reports are that and their relationship is warming. Trump will likely not fire Rosenstein. In fact, Trump, a businessperson and not a politician, is more concerned with results than the optics or priorities of the Republican party.
As such he will not only retain Rosenstein but also attempt to make Rosenstein an ally instead of an adversary.
Rod Rosenstein: Growing up on the job
The boyish if balding Rod Rosenstein may have been “in over his head” when first given authority over the special prosecutor. He may have made some decisions that he later regretted. Democrats may have bullied the Deputy A.G.. Either way, he appears to be taking a different position today.
Trump will likely not fire Rosenstein. Instead, he will try to form a better working relationship with the Deputy A.G. while trying to convince him that the special prosecutor should find the truth about collusion which likely involved the Democrats.
This is certainly not the normal way presidents act. But Rosenstein could become a powerful ally for the President.
And Trump is far from a normal president.