Rod Rosenstein, just leave already
At this writing, deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has gone to the White House, reportedly expecting to be fired, though another report says he’s simply on his way to a previously scheduled committee meeting and that Trump is speaking at the UN General Assembly today (Monday). To set the record straight, the President’s outstanding press secretary has just issued a statement saying Trump will meet with Rosenstein when he’s back in Washington on Thursday. According to the statement, the two have already had “an extended conversation” at Rosenstein’s request to “discuss the recent news stories.” An update says there was also a conversation with Chief Of Staff John Kelly.
Rosenstein deserves a good sacking for reasons we’ve discussed here, and the President is just the man with the guts to do it. He’s been counseled, though, not to make this move, at least until after the midterms if at all, because it would be “politically explosive” and seen as “obstruction” (which it isn’t; the special counsel could still go on unimpeded).
We use the term “deep state” quite often to describe what is increasingly evident within our politicized federal bureaucracy, refusing to shy away from what some hesitate to say outright. Especially in recent days, it’s been gratifying to see some legal experts and longtime observers, even from the other side of the aisle, state the obvious.
“People bristle when I sometimes adopt and use that term: ‘deep state,’” said Mark Penn over the weekend in an op-ed for THE HILL. “But as an outside observer, watching the unmasking of the actions of one official after another at the FBI, CIA and DOJ, I have come to accept that an unelected group of well-educated, experienced individuals running these departments became inebriated with their own power during the last election campaign and apparently came to believe they were on a mission to stop, defeat or remove President Trump and his associates for crimes they would find or, if necessary, manufacture.”
It should be mentioned that Mark Penn worked as a Democratic pollster and strategist for Bill Clinton. How refreshing it is when political adversaries can set their partisanship aside and call ‘em as they see ‘em. Penn has taken a lot of heat for this stance, to say the least, from the Democratic side.
We’ve been covering the stunning revelations here for many months, and they just keep coming. What we’ve already learned is so bad, it’s easy to see why officials at the Justice Department/FBI have ignored subpoenas, slow-walked Freedom Of Information Act requests, and redacted documents for no good reason other than to cover their own hineys.
What the Justice Department has managed to do, by moving the pieces on the board before Trump was even in the game, is tie his hands legally, so that he takes tremendous risk doing what the Constitution says plain as day falls under his authority as President. By fraudulently putting him under investigation for “obstruction” (obstruction of WHAT??), they intend to keep him from firing the very people who are using their positions to damage his presidency.
The investigation has metastasized so far that it seemingly can’t be contained. Essentially anything the President says or does relative to the FBI/DOJ/special counsel can be interpreted as “obstruction.” It doesn’t matter whether the charge would stand up in court; the Democrats definitely will use it in purely-political impeachment hearings if they take the House. Hardly anything is beyond the scope, and yet we’re still trying to find out exactly how it all started.
Trump has even tapped the brakes on his call to declassify all the documents Congress is still waiting for –- key materials related to the Russia investigation –- out of concern that the perception might be one of obstruction and also in response to requests from Allies (I’m thinking the U.K. and Australia, since some of the major players in this intrigue are from those countries). That argument can be made; still, only in the current climate of insanity would the call to RELEASE information be labeled OBSTRUCTION.
Mark Penn says what we’ve been observing for a long time: that the President is “damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.” The Democrats (and the media, but I repeat myself) will jump all over Trump if he fires Rosenstein, for whatever reason he gives. They can’t wait –- in their minds, it would make the 2019 impeachment hearings so much meatier. They’re trying to goad the President into it; that may be the reason, in fact, why Rosenstein’s so-called joke about wearing a wire and encouraging Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to depose him (hahaha, isn’t that funny?) was leaked to The New York Times.
In fact, Democrats are already condemning Trump before he’s lifted in a finger in response. California Rep. Adam Schiff --- who will chair the House Intelligence Committee if Democrats take the House; think about that --- wrongly characterizes the prospect of Rosenstein’s firing, whether it happens now or after the midterms, as “a slow-moving Saturday Night Massacre.”
The most likely source for the NYT leak is Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page’s boss, who was fired for (yes) leaking and lying about it to FBI interrogators and who is now being investigated by a grand jury. Penn points out that in his statement about this new leak, Rosenstein’s “denial” does not deny the discussion of wiring himself or others as a means to entrap or embarrass the President. Obviously, they were talking about it –- it’s tempting to use the word “conspiring” –- and the cracking of a few wry jokes would simply have served to add color to the discussion.
Incidentally, the Daily Beast is reporting that according to two sources “familiar with the events in question,” Lisa Page was present at that meeting and was under the impression Rosenstein was serious.
The meeting took place soon after Trump’s firing of Comey, and it was just days later that Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel –- I see that as a real-world legal equivalent of their dream of wearing a wire to “get” Trump –- with the catalyst for that appointment being the firing of Comey that he himself had justified in writing.
And he oversees the special counsel to this very day. We are through the looking glass, friends.
This isn’t the first time Rosenstein has made an inappropriate and revealing remark and then said he was kidding. Perhaps his next career phase –- after he is GONE from the DOJ –- should be in standup comedy; he does have a certain deadpan style about him, and being against Trump will only help him succeed on the late-night circuit.
I agree with Penn that this sort of behavior is evidence of supreme arrogance on the part of this group. Even the ones who have been fired are being rewarded with TV contracts, speaking gigs and book deals. They “convinced themselves that they would rescue our country from ourselves,” Penn says. “They were on a mission, it turns out, not to save our country but to undo our democracy, and Rosenstein finally has been unmasked as having the attitudes and conflicts we all suspected.”
Rosenstein seems to think he’s politically unaccountable to anyone. He needs to go, but semi-Attorney General Sessions still won’t do it for reasons more mysterious than Pandora’s box. Meanwhile, anyone in Congress or the Senate who wants to damage Trump is apparently fine with tearing up the Constitution if that’s what it takes.
So what’s a President to do? If control of the House changes, we know exactly what’s going to happen. Immediately, the lid will be clamped down tight on all investigations that touch on the FBI and DOJ’s handling of Hillary and Trump/Russia. Mueller will move forward, pedal-to-the-metal. Articles of impeachment, which no doubt already exist in carefully crafted draft mode, will be presented and the President will be impeached for being Donald Trump.
The one thing he could do is appoint a second special counsel, as a last resort, to continue the investigations that the Democrats plan to shut down. Even if the Republicans win, this appears to be the only way to address the absurd conflicts of interest and misconduct at the DOJ and FBI. According to a Harvard/CAPS poll, over 70 percent of Americans believe such a special counsel should be appointed. It’s hard to get 70 percent of Americans to agree on anything, Mr. President. Listen to them.
As I close, it’s being reported by The New York Times that Rosenstein “is planning to leave his job.” We don’t yet know whether he expects to be fired or is planning to resign. Either way, we know how it’ll be spun. But at least he’ll finally be out.
It’s been a wild weekend in Washington, with more slimy accusations against Judge Brett Kanvanaugh surfacing like slugs after a heavy rainstorm. This being a family-friendly newsletter, I’m not going to detail those allegations, which are escalating in salaciousness and ridiculousness by the minute, going from tragedy to farce in record time, with the latest coming from a man who has been accurately labeled by profession on Fox News as a “Sleazy Porn Lawyer.” Is this what former President Obama meant when he urged Americans to put Democrats back in power to “return to sanity”?
You can find these stories elsewhere, although the original of one, involving Kanvanaugh’s alleged behavior at another college party, can be found only in the New Yorker, where journalistic standards are sub-basement-low enough to run a story that the New York Times and other media outlets spent a week researching and passed on because they couldn’t find a single alleged witness who didn’t either claim to know nothing about it or deny that it ever happened.
Some were friends of the accuser for years and say she never mentioned the alleged incident; others related that she admitted to them that she wasn’t clear on whether it happened at all or if the person who allegedly did it was Kavanaugh, and only recovered the memory after talking for six days to a Democratic lawyer. In other words, we have now officially advanced from the Salem witch trials of the 1600s to the McMartin Preschool witch hunt of the 1980s. “Progress!”
These stories and their sources are shakier than a garage sale card table, and are such transparently political attempts to create a “pattern of abuse” narrative that they’re only undermining what little credibility the original accusation (and the Senate Democrats pushing it) had. (Warning: this link contains some offensive content that might turn your stomach, and I don’t just mean the 200,000th photo of Michael Avenetti on CNN).
Sen. Diane Feinstein’s latest demand that Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote be delayed until after an FBI investigation of even further-fetched allegations that somehow never surfaced during multiple previous FBI background checks suggests that that's what all this has been about from the get-go. If the Democrats get their delay, the parade of unverifiable allegations will never cease, and it will establish forever that unsubstantiated slander is a winning political strategy. If you don’t want to reward that, then don’t support it at the polls.
For those who actually think the accused should have a right to defend himself, Judge Kavanaugh and his wife will give an exclusive interview to Martha McCallum on Fox News tonight. Details are here:
Rather than recount all the Kavanaugh allegations in repulsive and pornographic detail, let’s try this. If our friends on the left are not complete hypocrites (stick with me, this is a hypothetical), then they must sincerely believe that women never lie on the subject of sexual abuse. So as the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh escalate in absurdity by the minute -- and to any fair-minded person (if any still exist), are now undermining the credibility of the original allegation -- let’s look at what some prominent women have had to say about them:
On the allegation that she was present at a party where a drunken, teenage Kavanaugh groped the then-15-year-old Prof. Christine Blasey Ford, all four of the other people whom she claimed were present have now refuted the claim, including the only female on the list, Leland Ingham Keyser. Her attorney issued this statement: “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.” Incidentally, she is a longtime friend of Ford’s and the ex-wife of Democratic operative Bob Beckel, so hardly a conservative partisan.
A longtime friend of the second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, had this to say about her claim: “This is a woman I was best friends with. We shared intimate details of our lives. And I was never told this story by her, or by anyone else. It never came up. I didn’t see it; I never heard of it happening.”
And this one almost got buried in the tsunami of sleaze, but there was even an attempt to smear Kavanaugh for his efforts to help women get ahead by hiring female law clerks. HuffPo, the Guardian and other leftist outlets claimed that Yale Law Prof. Amy Chua, who wrote an op-ed about what a great mentor Kavanaugh was, had advised female students that they had to “look like models” to be accepted by him. Prof. Chua issued a blistering statement that read in part: “Everything that is being said about the advice I give to students applying to Brett Kavanaugh — or any judge — is outrageous, 100% false, and the exact opposite of everything I have stood for and said for the last fifteen years.” There’s more and a link to the full statement here:
Interestingly, on her Twitter feed, many liberals are savaging Prof. Chua as a liar for denying an unsubstantiated claim that she calls “outrageous” and “100% false.” What happened to “believe every woman”?
So, my question to Democrats would be: which is it? Are we supposed to believe women only when they make accusations but not when they issue vociferous denials? Or do women only lie about sexual issues when they make serious, credible, evidence-backed accusations against prominent Democrats such as Bill Clinton, Keith Ellison, et. al.?
Or is this a case where the simplest solution to the mystery is the correct one: that the left is willing to pervert a long-overdue reckoning for real sexual predators if they can turn it into a cynical political weapon?
A new GoFundMe campaign
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to hire a private detective to dig into the personal backgrounds of journalists who help with the politics of personal destruction of conservatives. Personally, I wish everyone would just grow up and stop acting like the torch-carrying mobs in old Frankenstein movies over someone disagreeing with them on political issues; and I am neither endorsing nor condemning this GoFundMe effort. I just have two observations:
1. It’s already up to nearly $6000 after just 15 hours with little publicity. And that’s not because of deep pockets billionaires like George Soros and the Silicon Valley socialists. It’s almost all in small donations of about $10 to $50 from Americans fed up with the left using personal attacks and sleazy innuendo to try to undo the results of a fair and legal election, all while accusing the other side of being a “danger to democracy.”
2. I predict that if it’s legit and reaches a high enough amount of money for digging into reporters' college exploits, at least some liberal journalists might start thinking twice before running clearly partisan smear jobs on the early lives of conservatives as if they were credible.
More important than politics
A sad reminder that some things are more important than politics: April Freeman, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Florida, died suddenly on Sunday night at 54. No cause of death is yet known. She was running against Republican State Sen. Greg Steube in a heavily Republican Central Florida district for the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Tom Rooney. Local Democratic officials will pick a replacement candidate, but that’s of minor concern. I hope you will join me in offering sympathy, condolences and prayers for April Freeman’s husband, daughters and grandchildren.
We’re From The Government And We’re Here To Help You:
A Florida animal rescuer who saved 17 cats and 10 dogs that had been abandoned to face Hurricane Florence was arrested for not having a permit for her emergency shelter. The charges include 17 counts of practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Her defenders say all the vets were closed due to the flooding, and she treated the animals with over-the-counter medicines you can buy at Dollar Tree. The animals, for their own good, were seized and transferred to a shelter that will kill them if their owners don’t claim them or they don’t get adopted.
So tell me again, why do so many leftist animal lovers want the government to have more power?
Speaking as a constant flyer, here’s just one more reason why Cap. John “Sully” Sullenberger is a true American hero: