Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Timeline: From Comey's Firing To Mueller's Appointment

This morning I took out after sundance at CTH for his repeated, absurd--and rather hysterical--smears against AG Bill Barr. It's sad because, as I've noted, CTH has performed signal service to the conservative cause. It's especially absurd because sundance's latest hysterical outburst against Barr comes on the heels of huge Russia Hoax related revelations from Paul Sperry and John Solomon that could only have been written with the help of sources familiar with work being done by both IG Horowitz and USA Durham--under the supervision of Bill Barr.

What follows is, IMO, an excellent example of CTH's work at its best--although not unmixedly so. I'm lifting it from CTH's coverage of Louis Gohmert's grilling of Mueller today, which focused on Mueller's May 17, 2017, Oval Office meeting with Trump. I will add one caution, which is an example of why CTH's work has to be read with a critical eye for detail. The statement sundance makes: "Mueller was ineligible for the position of FBI Director" is not correct. In point of fact Mueller could have been reappointed as FBI Director--if the Senate had approved that move. Nor would this have been unprecedented. Mueller himself is an example of how that would work:

In May 2011, President Barack Obama asked Mueller to continue at the helm of the FBI for two additional years beyond his normal 10-year term, which would have expired on September 4, 2011. The Senate approved this request 100–0 on July 27, 2011.

So, with that caveat, here's an excellent and important timeline of events from Comey's firing to Mueller's appointment. The aspect of this that I find so important is that it highlights the role in the Russia Hoax and the subsequent Mueller inquisition of Rod Rosenstein. To forestall any criticism, I will state: If there is no public accounting for the role that Rosenstein played, then Barr's work will be incomplete. So, omitting links and doing my own formatting:

FBI Director James Comey was fired on Tuesday May 9th, 2017. According to his own admissions (NBC and CBS), Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe immediately began a criminal ‘obstruction’ investigation the next day, Wednesday May 10th; and he immediately enlisted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. 
These McCabe statements line up with with text message conversations between FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok – (same dates 5/9 and 5/10) ... 
The next day, Thursday May 11th, 2017, Andrew McCabe testifies to congress. With the Comey firing fresh in the headlines, Senator Marco Rubio asked McCabe: “has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped, or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation, or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigation?” 
McCabe responded: “So there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date. Quite simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.” 
However, again referencing his own admissions, on Friday May 12th McCabe met with DAG Rod Rosenstein to discuss the issues, referencing the criminal ‘obstruction’ case McCabe had opened just two days before.  According to McCabe: 
… “[Rosenstein] asked for my thoughts about whether we needed a special counsel to oversee the Russia case. I said I thought it would help the investigation’s credibility. Later that day, I went to see Rosenstein again. This is the gist of what I said: I feel strongly that the investigation would be best served by having a special counsel.”  
Recap: Tuesday-Comey Fired; Wednesday-McCabe starts criminal ‘obstruction’ case; Thursday-McCabe testifies to congress “no effort to impede”; Friday-McCabe and Rosenstein discuss Special Counsel. 
After the weekend, Monday May 15th, McCabe states he and Rosenstein conferred again about the Special Counsel approach. McCabe: “I brought the matter up with him again after the weekend.” 
Now, overlaying what we know now that we did not know in 2018, to include the John Dowd interview and McCabe admissions, a very clear picture emerges.
On Tuesday May 16th, Rod Rosenstein takes Robert Mueller to the White House to talk with the target of the ‘obstruction’ criminal investigation, Donald Trump, under the ruse of bringing Mueller in for a meeting about becoming FBI Director. 
Knowing McCabe launched a criminal obstruction investigation six days earlier (May 10th); and knowing Mueller was ineligible for the position of FBI Director; this “meeting” looks entirely different.  This meeting looks like an opportunity to gather evidence for the obstruction case. 
The next day, Wednesday May 17th, 2017, Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe go to brief the congressional “Gang-of-Eight”: Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, ¹Devin Nunes, Adam Schiff, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Richard Burr and Mark Warner. [Note: McCabe attempted to exclude Nunes from the meeting.] 
… […] “On the afternoon of May 17, Rosenstein and I sat at the end of a long conference table in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol. We were there to brief the so-called Gang of Eight—the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Rosenstein had, I knew, made a decision to appoint a special counsel in the Russia case.” 
[…] “After reminding the committee of how the investigation began, I told them of additional steps we had taken. Then Rod took over and announced that he had appointed a special counsel to pursue the Russia investigation, and that the special counsel was Robert Mueller.” 
Immediately following this May 17, 2017, Go8 briefing, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein notified the public of the special counsel appointment.


  1. Gohmert began his questioning well. Finally, a Republican was asking the right questions.

    Unfortunately, Gohmert then began to ask questions and then interrupt Mueller during his answer's first sentence.

    Gohmert wasted the final minute of his time by yelling at Mueller.

    Instead of wasting that precious minute on his temper tantrum, Gohmert might have asked Mueller why he did go to that meeting with Trump, if not to interview for the FBI job.

  2. President Trump still seems to understand that the purpose of his meeting with Rosenstein and Mueller was to discuss whether Mueller might be appointed to FBI Director.

    Today Gohmert asked Mueller about the purpose of the meeting. Mueller began to say that the purpose was not to discuss such an appointment. Immediately, Gohmert interrupted Mueller and moved on to some other question.

    Eventually, Gohmert spent the last of his five minutes yelling at Mueller.

    1. @ Mike

      I share your regret that Gohmert missed the opportunity to get a possibly interesting and useful answer out of Mueller.

      But its worth saying that (I think) the GOPers did a pretty good job yesterday stifling their inclinations to grandstand and mostly focusing on making the record. Especially under the circumstances of the ridiculous made-for-TV 5 minute limitation.

      Really...discovering the truth and our national soul is at stake and we limit the questioning to 5 minute sound bites?

      (I sure hope Durham and Horowitz are not limited to 5 minute sound bites... :) )

  3. Sundance's article says that What was “going on” was a sting, but he does not explain the sting.

    Oh, well, that's Sundance. That's what he does sometimes.


    Some of the commenters, trying to interpret Sundance's mystification, guess that Rosenstein duped Mueller about the purpose's meeting. The guessing goes that Rosenstein brought Mueller only as a prop so that Rosenstein could question and secretly record Trump.


    I think that Mueller's half sentence -- interrupted by Gohmert -- is useless. It seems that Mueller began to deny that the meeting discussed his appointment to FBI Director, but we don't really know for sure what Mueller was going to say when he was interrupted.

    1. I believe Mueller was never going to give a straight answer. Someone DID ask him whether he had discussed the SC position with anyone and his response was he wasn't going to discuss internal DoJ business. That was the answer, IMO, the real answer. IOW, he DID discuss the SC position before going to the Oval Office with Rosenstein. That's why getting the truth out of Rosenstein is so important. And that's why I pasted in sundance's timeline.

    2. Mike,

      I understand your frustrations with Gohmert but I disagree with you nonetheless. Most of the Republicans were firm, but polite with Mueller.

      Mueller had it coming and it was good to see him get it. This man does not deserve his "stellar reputation." For what he put the country through for two years, he needs to pay. They all need to pay.