I always knew he was a weasel

I always knew Rosenstein was a weasel

by digby

The moment I read that ridiculous "Comey firing" memo that Rosenstein wrote for Trump I knew he was a brown-noser (or, as Comey reportedly said, "a survivor".)  He was clearly ready to take out Comey, which wasn't wrong in itself since Comey had behaved very badly. But he did it to curry favor with Trump, knowing that his reasoning was being used dishonestly.

I think we were all misled into thinking that he was protecting the investigation when, according to the Mueller Report, it appears that the investigation was being protected from inside the White House.

Now he's out there giving speeches basically sucking up to Trump and blaming the Obama administration for the Russian interference:

At a Public Servants Dinner of the Armenian Bar Association, Rosenstein unloaded on the Obama administration, saying that its handling of the Russian election interference disadvantaged the probe from the start.

“The previous administration chose not to publicize the full story about Russian computer hackers and social media trolls, and how they relate to a broader strategy to undermine America,” he said. “The FBI disclosed classified evidence about the investigation to ranking legislators and their staffers. Someone selectively leaked details to the news media. The FBI director announced at a congressional hearing that there was a counterintelligence investigation that might result in criminal charges. Then the former FBI director alleged that the President pressured him to close the investigation, and the President denied that the conversation occurred. So that happened.”

He sprinkled in a colorful metaphor to fully depict the burden he shouldered when he took on the deputy AG gig.

“There is a story about firefighters who found a man on a burning bed. When they asked how the fire started, he replied, ‘I don’t know. It was on fire when I lay down on it,'” Rosenstein said. “I know the feeling,” he quipped.

Nevertheless, he was quick to illustrate the aplomb with which he and his team handled the tough hand they were dealt: “Today, our nation is safer, elections are more secure, and citizens are better informed about covert foreign influence schemes.”

But, in case listeners forgot how hard Rosenstein labored to be a beacon of judicial integrity in the swamp of Washington, he added: “Not everybody was happy with my decision, in case you did not notice.”

He rounded out the evening with a quick potshot at the news media, a must in the time of Trump.

“Some of the nonsense that passes for breaking news today would not be worth the paper it was printed on, if anybody bothered to print it,” he said.

Read his full comments here.

Remember this?

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is flying Monday with President Donald Trump on Air Force One to a police chiefs' conference in Florida and the president said before leaving that he has no plans to fire the overseer of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

"No, I don't," Trump responded when asked if he planned to remove Rosenstein.

"Looking forward to being with him," he added. "We'll be talking on the plane. I have a good relationship other than there's been no collusion."

After landing in Florida, Trump described his conversation on the plane with Rosenstein as "great."

The flight provided an opportunity for their most extensive conversation since news reports last month that Rosenstein had discussed possibly secretly recording Trump to expose chaos in the White House and invoking constitutional provisions to get him removed from office.

The reports, which Rosenstein denied, fueled speculation that Rosenstein might be fired or resign. Rosenstein told officials that he would be willing to resign and met at the White House with chief of staff John Kelly during a chaotic day two weeks ago that ended with him still in his Justice Department job.

Did that ever make any sense? No it didn't.

You want a "tarmac meeting"? This is the one that really stinks.


He was "on his team":

Rod J. Rosenstein, again, was in danger of losing his job. The New York Times had just reported that — in the heated days after James B. Comey was fired as FBI director — the deputy attorney general had suggested wearing a wire to surreptitiously record President Trump. Now Trump, traveling in New York, was on the phone, eager for an explanation.

Rosenstein — who, by one account, had gotten teary-eyed just before the call in a meeting with Trump’s chief of staff — sought to defuse the volatile situation and assure the president he was on his team, according to people familiar with matter. He criticized the Times report, published in late September, and blamed it on former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, whose recollections formed its basis. Then he talked about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and told the president he would make sure Trump was treated fairly, people familiar with the conversation said.

“I give the investigation credibility,” Rosenstein said, in the words of one administration official offering their own characterization of the call. “I can land the plane.”

The episode illustrates the political tightrope Rosenstein has had to walk in his two years as the Justice Department’s second-in-command. To keep his job, the deputy attorney general has worked to mollify an often angry Trump, while at the same time protecting the special counsel’s investigation of the president and his campaign. Rosenstein’s actions have come under renewed scrutiny, as he has played a key role in releasing Mueller’s findings in a way even some of his supporters say has been overly favorable to Trump.

In a statement for this article, Rosenstein said: “The only commitment I made to President Trump about the Russia investigation is the same commitment I made to the Congress: so long as I was in charge, it would be conducted appropriately and as expeditiously as possible. Everyone who actually participated in the investigation knows that.”

He added: “My relationship with the President is not one-dimensional. The Russia investigation represents only a fraction of my work and the work of the Department of Justice. I talk with the President at every opportunity about the great progress we have made and are making at the Department of Justice in achieving the Administration’s law enforcement priorities and protecting American citizens.”

A person familiar with Rosenstein’s account said the deputy attorney general disputes that he was teary-eyed in the meeting before the call with Trump. “He was reacting appropriately given the circumstances, which was a discussion about his forced resignation,” the person said.

But Rosenstein — whose representatives were approached for comment for this report earlier in the week — acknowledged in a combative speech Thursday night in New York that there were times during his tenure as deputy attorney general that he grew upset.

“One silly question that I get from reporters is, ‘Is it true that you got angry and emotional a few times over the past few years?’ Heck yes! Didn’t you?” Rosenstein said, deviating from his prepared script.

Trump ended the call with Rosenstein thinking he was “on the team after all,” one senior administration official said, adding that the president has been further swayed by Rosenstein’s deference in meetings and other settings.