That's pretty wild--the Deputy Attorney General offering to "wear a wire" against the President of the United States--and yet that's what the NYT is reporting, and they wouldn't publish fake news, would they? And they say he proposed this line of action because he was upset over the firing of James Comey. Clearly he hadn't been paying any attention at all to what Comey and the FBI had been up to for the past year or two--if anyone deserved firing, Comey deserved it richly. Interestingly, Rosenstein doesn't actually deny the story, instead he called it "inaccurate" and "factually incorrect." As opposed to "totally untrue" or "fake news." So we're probably safe in assuming that something like this really did transpire, and leave Rosenstein and the NYT to quibble over the details.
But what's the point in all this? I believe that, following so closely on the letter of the infamous Sub-Gang of Four "requesting" Rosenstein and FBI Director Wray (as well as DNI Coats) to clear any declassifications with them before disclosing any of the material to the President, this story is designed to place even more pressure on Rosenstein--as the person most centrally involved in and in control of the declassification process. As I elaborated in Dems Throw Wray And Rosenstein Under The Bus:
In effect the "request" by the Gang of Eight Democrats amounts to a demand that Wray and Rosenstein openly choose sides. In place of the "slow walk" strategy of documentary release that has so frustrated Congressional Republicans, Wray and Rosenstein are being "requested" to openly side with the minority party by defying a Presidential order. There is a carrot and a stick attached to this request. The stick, of course, is that if the much ballyhooed "Blue Wave" makes landfall in the US and Wray and Rosenstein haven't cooperated with the current minority, then the full fury of the new Democrat majority would be unleashed against them. The carrot is the fact that neither Wray nor Rosenstein are in good graces with President Trump. Presumably that new Democrat majority would protect Wray and Rosenstein from an enraged President Trump--if they've cooperated. By revealing publicly the fact that Wray and Rosenstein may have been colluding with the Democrats in an attempt to thwart what President Trump sees as a "crowning achievement" of his presidency--cleaning up the corruption of the FBI--the Democrats are clearly attempting to muscle Wray and Rosenstein into open opposition to Trump. They have shown their gratitude to them by placing them directly in the path of a bus named Donald J. Trump.This new story will certainly increase the pressure on Rosenstein. After all, it has to increase the likelihood that Trump will fire Rosenstein after the midterm election. Rosenstein would therefore have a choice: stick with Trump and get fired, or side with the Dems by attempting to thwart the declassification order--and gain the everlasting gratitude of Democrats. Which might last for 15 minutes.
What is clear is that, even in the midst of the struggle over the Judge Kavanaugh nomination, the Democrats have other things on their mind--bigger things, incredible as that might seem, with the Kavanaugh nomination currently receiving 24/7 coverage. It's increasingly clear that the Democrats view the declassification order as a dagger pointed at their heart, so one can only imagine what they fear will come out. The desperation the Democrats are feeling at the prospect of declassification can hardly be overestimated.
Interestingly, some of my other bits of speculation appear to have already been confirmed. We are hearing today via Trump tweet that "key Allies’ called to ask not to release.” That would be Britain and Australia, and my bet is that Britain has the most to lose from declassification. Yes, the Downer episode would be embarrassing for Australia, but consider Britain's case. What do you think Adm. Mike Rogers, head of NSA, whispered in Trump's ear when Rogers made his secret trip to Trump Tower right after the election? Whatever it was, within hours Trump had ordered his transition HQ moved from Trump Tower to New Jersey. My educated guess is that the information that Rogers provided--which so enraged Brennan and Clapper that they demanded that Obama immediately fire Rogers--wasn't about a relatively trivial matter like the Carter Page FISA. I think it had to do with overhears of the Trump campaign at Trump Tower being routed through Britain's GCHQ so they could be sent back to the US as intelligence provided by a "friendly foreign power", thus avoiding FISA requirements. And so Comey could semi-truthfully say that Trump had not been wiretapped.
Sundance points out what I was at pains to stress, which is how deeply these declassified documents may impact the Deep State, shining light on its hidden operations. Again, via presidential tweet, Rosenstein has agreed to "release them but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. I highly recommend of a close reading of all of sundance's commentary at the link (above).
Sundance jumps on that last phrase:
note the word “perceived negative impact”. The full sunlight (full release) would undermine the legitimacy of Robert Mueller. DOJ doesn’t want to undermine the fraudulent Mueller investigation. Rosenstein is now admitting to the President, that Muellers probe is illegitimate.Which brings us back to John Solomon's question: Why did we ever need a Special Counsel? These declassified documents will provide the answer: We never did. It's all been a hoax: The Russia Hoax. It was a Deep State op against the duly elected President, funded through the Hillary campaign and affiliates of the Democrat Party (prominently including close associates of Diane Feinstein, just by the way, such as her former chief of staff Daniel Jones).
ADDENDUM: It could be argued that the primary purpose of both releases of information implicating Wray, but especially Rosenstein, in anti-Trump activities--even conspiracies--has been to instigate controversial firings by Trump before the midterm elections, to raise a public outcry and gin up the support of the Democrat base. While that could be part of the equation, I tend to discount it. The result would be, in effect, be self defeating--the result would be that whoever took the place of Rosenstein, even on an acting basis, would surely promptly comply with the order. If I'm correct that the Democrats view the declassification order as an existential threat, that would be the last thing they would want.
MORE: As I read the story, it appears that Rosenstein discussed these matters (wiring up against the Prez, invoking the 25th Amendment) with, of all people, Andrew McCabe--currently awaiting indictment. Talk about being a bad judge of character!
UPDATE: NBC News is reporting that the discussion took place in Andrew McCabe's office, with Lisa Page and Scott Schools (Associate Deputy AG) present. According to NBC, Rosenstein's remark was sarcastic: "Well, what do you want me to do, Andy, wear a wire?" OTOH, you have to ask yourself, in what sort of a conversation does the Deputy AG of the United States "joke" with the acting Director of the FBI about wearing a wire against the POTUS? At the very least these very high DoJ officials were discussing how to control the POTUS, how to deflect him--something of that sort, at the least. Apparently McCabe's post meeting memo state that Rosenstein raised the 25th Amendment, but Page's notes don't reflect that. Take it for what it's worth. The important point is that Deep State actors are scared witless at the prospect of declassification and are seeking to pressure Rosenstein. Thus far it seems not to be working.
UPDATE: I get the feeling this will take a lot of updates. The latest is that the NYT reporters are sticking to their version of events. They state that Page's notes memorialized a different meeting (but the same day) than the one that McCabe recorded in his memo. They also claim that the subject of wearing a wire came up in the other meeting on that same day. Be all that as it may, the bottom line remains the same for me: Deep State actors are scared witless at the prospect of declassification and are seeking to pressure Rosenstein.
UPDATE: Rosenstein, in a comment following on his no-further-comment comment, is now making a categorical denial, per Valerie Jarret's daughter: “I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false.” Meanwhile Rep. Jim Jordan wants Rosenstein to provide all the McCabe memos--memos that McCabe said today were copied to the Mueller team as well as retained by the FBI. Jordan: "Mr. Rosenstein, give Congress the McCabe memos that we asked for in July and all the other documents we’ve requested so we can all judge for ourselves." And sundance notes that it appears that the McCabe memos were also withheld from OIG. Back to you Mr. Rosenstein.
UPDATE: Greg Jarret has an excellent analysis of all of the above: Rod Rosenstein's coup attempt to depose Trump should not go unpunished. Jarret makes the important point that, by withholding the McCabe memos from Congress--memos which memorialize among other things McCabe's recollection that Rosenstein was plotting against Trump--Rosenstein was effectively covering up for his own misconduct, conceivably obstructing justice. There's more, and the whole article is worth a close read. Overall, what these events tend to confirm are two major points:
1. Rosenstein was essentially a Deep State plant, whose role was to control and if possible undermine Trump.
2. The appointment of Mueller as Special Counsel was probably never truly about Russia--although the Russia Hoax was the pretext. The real reason was that Trump's firing of Comey presented the threat of Trump freeing himself from the web of Deep State operatives that surrounded him. The goal of the Special Counsel has nothing to do with Russia--that's all a hoax and has long been known to be a hoax. The goal is thwart Trump by enmeshing him in endless damage control. That has been a signal failure thus far, and Trump appears to be on the verge of turning the tables in a definitive way. Thus the panic among Democrats.
Here's the money quote. Jarret explains that Mueller may have visited Trump's office under the pretext of interviewing for a return to his Director position, but with the real purpose of gathering 'evidence' against Trump. Then Jarret adds:
Mueller may have been there to gather evidence against Trump during his interview with the president. It was one of the three reasons why Mueller should have recused himself. Yet, he refused to do so.
Importantly, the entire special counsel investigation should be promptly terminated. This illegitimate probe has been tainted by corruption from the outset, and this is just the latest in a mountain of damning evidence.
Rosenstein has been in charge of the Mueller probe. Yet, it is clear that he harbors an extreme bias against Trump. How can anyone now view the investigation as fair, objective and neutral? It is not. It never has been.
From the moment Trump was sworn in as president, saboteurs at the FBI and Justice Department have worked furiously to undue the election results and frame Trump for “colluding” with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election.UPDATE: I'm going to continue to update this blog for now, as new bits of information continue to surface. This morning Thomas Lifson, Twelve points to keep in mind on the NYT’s Rosenstein ‘wear a wire’ and invoke 25th Amendment story, cites a stunning story from the Washington Examiner: Rod Rosenstein considered lawyer to Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal for special counsel, report says. Here's the key passage:
Buried deep within the report, centered on the fallout in the days after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, three sources said Rosenstein thought about appointing James Cole to the role later given to Robert Mueller, himself a former FBI director.
Cole served as a deputy attorney general from late 2010 to early 2015 — during the Obama years — and was Rosenstein’s supervisor at the DOJ in the early 1990s while he was prosecuting public corruption cases.
Cole also represented Blumenthal during the Benghazi investigations that looked into the 2012 attack at a U.S. complex in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans. A former employee of the Clinton Foundation, Blumenthal shares a controversial history with Hillary Clinton, whom he informally advised on Libya while she was secretary of state.The story goes on to detail alleged connections of Blumenthal to the Russia Hoax.
While it's true that Rosenstein did not, in fact, appoint Cole, the mere fact that he would even consider such an appointment is stunning. To my mind this report solidifies the idea that Rosenstein is a a creature of the Deep State who was placed in a position to wreak maximum havoc for the new Trump administration. It raises once again the question--who actually appointed Rosenstein? I continue to believe that the Rosenstein appointment resulted from a deal Sessions made with key Establishment players, to accept a Deputy AG chosen by the Deep State in order to ensure his retirement gig as AG.
Forgive me, but even this sharp criticism comes across as too casual and blase´ in the context of reality. A coup against an elected president has been ongoing for two years, and the agencies that would normally rise to thwart this sedition are actually the perpetrators. In a very real sense, our country is now in greater peril than at any other time in our history (save perhaps for our Founding revolution and the Civil War). I think the politicians and power brokers in the DC bubble are oblivious to how this un-redressed criminality is being viewed in heartland America. Add in the ongoing character assassination of Judge Kavanangh and reasonable men may well conclude that a second revolution may be necessary to right the ship. The stakes are much higher than just political brinksmanship.ReplyDelete
Consider yourself forgiven, Unknown. In fact, just this morning, in an email, I stated to friends that caving on the Kavanaugh nomination would signal the end of constitutional order in this country. In my other political posts I think you'll see that I do regard the Russia Hoax as a coup attempt.ReplyDelete
The context of the revelation about Rosenstein was that he might be going along with President Trump's decision to declassify information about the RussiaGate hoax.ReplyDelete
The purpose of the revelation was to intimidate Rosenstein from going along with such declassifications.
If he were to continue to go along, then there will be more revelations about him -- and he knows it.
Mike, I think developments will be coming quickly, now--the elections will force it, IMO. Interesting times.ReplyDelete
"I stated to friends that caving on the Kavanaugh nomination would signal the end of constitutional order in this country."ReplyDelete
Yes, I have said that VERY same thing to several friends. If the Republicans cannot stand up to the mob and protect a good an decent man wrongly and cynically accused of something he either did not do, or at most, was hyper-exaggerated by an uber-radical leftist to derail his nomination, then we are done as a nation.
You're comments and observations in the blog are spot on, but losing Kavanaguh will give the Democrats strong tailwinds and momentum that may lead to defeat for everyone on our side.
Thanks, Janus. Yes, losing any nomination is always tough, but the tactics here are what make it totally different.ReplyDelete
I just got turned on to your magnificent blog the other day (I saw a link over at Sundance's Tree House) and am thrilled to have found you. It is really a pleasure to read such thoughtful, well researched and written posts, especially given what we see every day in the MSM that's supposed to pass for journalism.
Anyway, I was wondering if you've been following what many are calling "The Creepy Line" story about Google and if so, if you would care to comment on this article from PJ Media.
Many thanks for you excellent work.
Thanks, Anon. I put a lot of work into what I write, and I try to confine myself to things I know a bit about. It means a lot to know my efforts are appreciated. I'll have to check out the link, but right now I'm having some computer problems and it may take a bit of time.ReplyDelete
I don't know if you have paid any attention to QAnon.ReplyDelete
I think QAnon is the President's son, Eric Trump (with the President's permission and input).
Anyway, this recent (Sep 22) video is relevant to your article here.
Dear Mark- thanks for your speedy reply. I hope to find out your thoughts on what I consider to be one of the most important issues of our time. All of the good work that's being done to get good people elected is being undermined by Google and the big Tech companies, and we don't even know to what extent.ReplyDelete
Good luck with your computer!
Mike, I don't follow QAnon as such, although I have seen some of the stuff. The presentation that you sent me does raise many of the same questions I have, but haven't expressed entirely. I was certainly very struck by Nunes' interview on Fox yesterday (I watched it linked from CTH--it advances the storyline past what was in the presentation you sent) in which he expressed frank skepticism re the common narrative that UK concerns on declassification focus on Steele--a knucklehead if ever there was one. Nunes found that narrative frankly non-credible. CTH commented briefly without discussion that the real concern is re GCHQ involvement--which, I'm sure you've noticed, is also my view. Lots happening fast.ReplyDelete
Anon, while I agree that the Left's efforts to control the flow of information is a serious problem, and may have a significant impact on voting, I'm not willing to go as far as Epstein. I'm not in a position to dispute his general thesis but I think there are other variables at play--including countervailing ones--that make me hesitate to attribute as much influence to Google as they wish to attribute to themselves.ReplyDelete
For example, most of the popular vote margin was attributable to the lopsided margin in one state. That, in turn, was arguably attributable to the lack of GOP candidates down ballot from Trump, due to CA's unique "open primary" system--which is of course designed to suppress GOP voting. That combined with the drumbeat of the MSM that Trump had no chance probably had as much or influence (or so I would argue) as biased search results.
Another factor to consider is how to weigh the influence of Google search results against Trump's own innovative approach of communicating directly with the electorate over the heads of the MSM--but also of Google search--through his tweeting and his cooptation of even the MSM through his constant activity and commentary. His motto: all publicity is good. The point is, Google might have the influence they claim if all else remained equal, but it doesn't. It's a flued environment, albeit usually uphill work for conservatives.
Post election actions by Facebook and Twitter may pose more of a threat than Google's search bias, which is why I welcome Trump's new executive order. For myself, I usually use Startpage.
Mike, I came up with this link via FR:ReplyDelete
A commenter there stated: this guy has been following Q--so, there ya go.
In an email to a friend this morning I said that earlier I had seen that two very liberal outlets, Vox and Roll Call, were claiming that Noel Francisco would replace Rosenstein. When I read those articles I couldn't figure out how that works. However, the link above seems to explain.
Mark- thanks very much for your comment about the Google situation. It made me feel much better, and I think that you're right.ReplyDelete
Meanwhile- a lot of incredible news today about Rosey the Rate. Very apropos of your terrific essay on that topic.
Keep up the great work. Can't wait to see your latest analysis.
Anon, I think CTH has a good analysis on Rosenstein up right now:ReplyDelete
"Do you think Rosenstein likes the idea of sitting around waiting for the IG report to show the world how badly he botched the DOJ job, and even facilitated their corrupt activity, during his stewardship? He made a Special Counsel investigative appointment from a foundation of fraud; and all of this was collateral damage from the political efforts of the prior administration. Think about it. Sucks to be the DAG. [He did it to himself]
"Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein career in the DOJ is over, he’s a dead-man-walking, but not because of anything President Trump has done; Rosenstein has put himself into this position. President Trump just smartly took the opportunity to hold the political leverage and narrow the path.
"There’s no doubt the DAG will resign, the question is the timing."
There's little to add to that. Rosenstein is just one more guy who grossly underestimated Trump--relying on CW rather than the reality that was right there in front of him.