Whatever makes the Trump administration look good this week, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s spectacular congressional hearing Wednesday in which he slapped down those who tried to politicize it, or the positive meeting on trade with the head of the EU, or perhaps the anticipated Friday announcement of stunning GDP growth, will no doubt by drowned out by mainstream media screams about unintelligible Cohen tapes and/or the pressing need for John Brennan to have a security clearance. For this reason, I even hesitated a moment before writing about the news of congressional Republicans calling for deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s impeachment. Sigh. MORE noise? MORE swamp? MORE scandal?
But every day, I get letters from readers who can’t understand why something isn’t done about the mess at the FBI and DOJ. Now that the 412-page application for a warrant to surveil Carter Page has been released –- mostly redacted, of course –- it’s obvious that the Steele “dossier” was part of a set-up from the start. (One thing that was conveniently left out of that application, ace reporter Sara A. Carter reminds us, was that the DOJ’s Bruce Ohr –- spouse of Nellie Ohr, who worked for Fusion GPS, which hired Christopher Steele –- said that Steele “would do anything to keep Donald Trump from being President.”) We know Rosenstein signed off on the third renewal of the fraudulent application based on unverified material for a warrant to spy on Carter Page. That, along with other huge conflicts of interest such as his authorship of the memo advising President Trump to fire then-FBI Director James Comey, renders Rosenstein unfit for responsibility over the “Trump/Russia” investigation. He can’t oversee it AND be a potential witness for it. So somebody needs to grab a crowbar and pry him from that role.
On Wednesday, articles of impeachment, the real deal, were filed against Rosenstein by a group of 11 congressional Republicans led by Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio. On Laura Ingraham’s FOX News show Wednesday night, Mark Meadows explained that “it’s all about transparency so the American people can decide.”
Ingraham told them that even Andrew C. McCarthy of NATIONAL REVIEW –- one of my favorite go-to legal minds –- didn’t think much of this idea, saying that Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray work for Trump and that by his inaction Trump is allowing them to do what they do. “...The President is empowered to give his subordinates a direct order to comply with Congress’s demands, and to fire them immediately if they fail to do so,” McCarthy said. But the President has been placed in a unique position in which his hands –- at least in the minds of his attorneys –- have been legally tied. Any move Trump makes that’s remotely connected to “Russia,” such as firing Rosenstein, will surely have to be defended against charges of “obstruction,” no matter how warranted it may be. (Remember, that’s what has been done to Trump over Comey’s richly-deserved firing.) I think this is why Trump hasn’t fired the whole lot of them.
Gregg Jarrett of FOX News reported back in February that Rosenstein had threatened House Intelligence Committee staffers when they were just trying to do their job of oversight; Meadows and Jordan stand by the accusation. Jordan brought up another factor: the DOJ has hidden mountains of information from them by way of massive redactions that had nothing to do with national security. “We’re tired of the Justice Department giving us the finger and not giving us the information we’re entitled to to do our constitutional duty. More importantly, the American people are sick of it. That’s why we filed the resolution.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan has not given his consent for the motion, but according to Meadows and Jordan, it could come to the floor as a privileged motion on Thursday without requiring that. Trey Gowdy isn’t backing it, either, at least so far. Come on, folks, get your act together. This is the one way you have of holding the reins on an out-of-control FBI --- charging Rosenstein with contempt will do as much as good as it did with Eric Holder.
Speaking of that piece of drek fancied up as a FISA court application, here’s a great piece from Mark Tapscott that suggests what specifically the Mueller team might be trying to make a case out of, and why anyone trying to make such a case is, pardon the expression, full of it.