Rosenstein repeatedly distanced himself from President Donald Trump — who has decried the investigation as a hoax and witch hunt — and sought to burnish a legacy for himself as a protector of the Justice Department’s independence who tried to do what he thought was right regardless of public criticism.
“I was responsible for overseeing that investigation,” Rosenstein said, according to his prepared remarks. “I knew from preliminary briefings with the agents and prosecutors that it was an important investigation. If it was not done correctly, there would always be lingering doubts about the scope of Russian efforts and the extent of American involvement.
“I would never have allowed anyone to interfere with the investigation,” he added.
He said Mueller’s appointment was necessary to preserve public confidence in the Justice Department and to resolve the investigation in a way that would protect America from foreign adversaries.
Let's see how that works.
Since when does the Justice Department launch investigations targeting US citizens simply to "preserve public confidence in the Justice Department"? Because, make no mistake about it, that's what was done. As disgraced former FBI Director Comey made clear in his Congressional testimony, this was an investigation of four specific US citizens--not of "Russian interference" in general. Call me naive, but I always thought that criminal investigations of American citizens were supposed to be initiated based on a reasonable belief that crimes have been committed. But look at the lengths to which Rosenstein and Mueller went:
the Special Counsel ... employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.
All that to "preserve public confidence in the Justice Department"! And what has been the result? Who seriously feels more confident in the Justice Department now? Not me.
But, you say, at least we now know the extent of American involvement with Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. True. We know that American involvement was precisely zero. There was no American involvement at all. Which suggests--nay, demands--the conclusion that the investigation was predicated either on some sort of hysteria or was an outright hoax. Or both.
Well, then, maybe "lingering doubts about the scope of Russian efforts" have been dispelled? Not exactly. The whole Russian troll farm/internet bot narrative has degenerated into farce. No serious investigation appears to have been undertaken regarding the supposed Russian "hacking." Instead, DoJ and Mueller have assumed the conclusions of a private contractor working for the purported victim--a contractor who failed to follow elementary forensic procedures as established by the DoJ itself. Moreover, in the Roger Stone case, Team Mueller disclaims all responsibility for establishing any Russian "hacking" whatsoever--despite their reliance on the assumption in their search warrant applications. And that in the face of challenges to their assumptions from perhaps the top authorities on such matters, who maintain that there was no "hacking", that it was an inside job.
As if all that weren't enough, we now know from the Mueller Dossier that Mueller never explored the possibility that the Steele "dossier" was itself a product of a Russian disinformation operation. And no wonder--to have done so would have called into question the very basis for the investigation into the Trump campaign. Yet somehow Rosenstein expects us to believe that somewhere between $30 and $40 million dollars was expended to dispell "lingering doubts about the scope of Russian efforts"? What kind of bad joke is this he's attempting to perpetrate? What we're left with is the distinct possibility that there was no Russian interference worth speaking of. Again: hysteria, hoax, or both. The idea that this partisan witchhunt has served to "protect America from foreign adversaries"? Please.
Far from preserving "public confidence in the Justice Department," Rosenstein's special counsel caper has had the exact opposite effect--exposing outrageous manipulation of the justice system. His actions have also fed a partisan food fight in Congress that has allowed the Nadler/Schiff clown show to drag that institution's estimation in public opinion to new lows.
What a disgrace Rosenstein's tenure was. Hopefully Bill Barr will be able to clear out the Deep State operatives Rosenstein either brought in or kept in place--starting with Chris Wray.
UPDATE: In his speech yesterday Rosenstein also savaged James Comey. While I noted that I didn't bother with it--it's basically shooting a fish in a barrel at this point. Others, however, point to it as a sign of things to come. Monica Showalter writes at American Thinker:
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has always been a Janus-faced swamp thing, and as a good swamp thing, he's a realist with regard to recognizing power shifts. The Mueller report exonerating President Trump has come out, so. unlike the tantruming Democrats (and one stupid Republican), he's adjusted his political stance to new realities.
So, now we see him openly turning on ... James Comey.
As Seb Gorka helpfully sums up:
Sebastian Gorka DrG
The jackals are turning on each other.
We can probably expect a lot more of this sort of backbiting and knife twisting among the swamplings as President Trump's approval rating continues to rise and his reelection prospects grow ever brighter. He's expanding, his swamp antagonists are contracting and Rosenstein knows which way the wind is blowing.