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Hullabaloo


Sunday, January 20, 2019

 
When the "I" word gets serious

by digby



Marcy Wheeler on another interesting admission from Rudy this morning:
In this post, I suggested that Rod Rosenstein’s call to Mueller’s office to see if they were going to release a statement pushing back against Buzzfeed’s story on Michael Cohen’s testimony might be a violation of SCO regulations protecting against “day-to-day supervision” by DOJ.

In his appearance on Jake Tapper’s show today, Rudy Giuliani (starting at 14:25) appears to take credit for SCO’s statement. After agreeing with Tapper that the NYT had corrected their claim that Paul Manafort had shared polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik with the intent that it in turn get shared with two Ukrainian oligarchs he worked for, he noted that the NYT had not issued the correction on their own. He then said that the Special Counsel’s office had not, either.

Rudy: Originally the NYTimes ran with the story [about Paul Manafort sharing polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik] — again, fake news — that he shared it with a Russian, not true. [note: actually it is true, because Kilimnik himself is a Russian citizen] 
Tapper: They corrected that. They corrected that. 
Rudy: They did correct that. They didn’t correct that — my friend, they didn’t correct that, they didn’t correct that just completely on their own by the way. The same thing with Special Counsel. That didn’t happen spontaneously.

At the very least, this undermines WaPo’s claim that Mueller already had a correction of Buzzfeed in the works before Rosenstein’s office called.
[...]
The WaPo story suggested that the statement was issued because Democrats were discussing impeachment.
[...]

I thought that was odd as well. With all the talk about the Mueller case being sealed off from politics, one would have thought the last thing they would ever get involved in would be discussions of impeachment. Supposedly, Mueller isn't Ken Starr.

Of course the Democrats are going to be talking impeachment, for any number of things, some of which may end up being investigated, some not, and some they may end up being wrong about. It's a process that hasn't even been started yet. There is no way that anyone thought this story, inaccurate or not, was going to be the lynchpin of an impeachment trial. There's a whole lot of material that's going to be included in any impeachment inquiry and this would have been just one of them even if there was too much loose talk about "smoking guns" about that Buzzfeed scoop. As Marcy says in her piece, "it is not the function of the Deputy Attorney General’s office to suppress perfectly legitimate discussions of impeachment." It's not the function of the Special Counsel either.

Marcy concludes:
But if the White House or Trump’s personal lawyer demanded that DOJ interfere in the day-to-day supervision of Mueller’s office with the specific goal of silencing talk about impeachment, as Rudy seems to suggest, that is a far more egregious intervention. That would mean Rosenstein’s office (either with or without the intervention of Big Dick Toilet Salesman Matt Whitaker) did what they did because Trump demanded it, which led them to take action that is arguably outside their permissible role with Mueller, all for the political purpose of squelching legitimate congressional discussion about impeachment.

It sure sounded like that's what Rudy was saying and it's what makes the most sense. Marcy's original
theory that this was done to protect Cohen's credibility makes sense. But if Rudy is spilling the beans as he's apt to do, it's hard to see why the DOJ or the OSC would think this was an unusually damning accusation considering everything else that's out there unless the White House was raising a fuss because impeachment was being discussed more seriously.

They'd better get used to it. It's on the table and it isn't going away.

By the way ---Rosenstein has played politics with this thing before. I think I've always assumed (hoped?) it was because he, like Lindsey Graham, thinks it's the only way to keep the lunaticTrump from losing it altogether. So it's possible that he knew Trump was going to freak out and acted upon that knowledge. You know, like Michael Cohen knew what Trump wanted him to do and so he did it. Psychos like Trump often have people trying to pre-empt their wrath.


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