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Tag: Rod Rosenstein

Steve Bannon Calls Mueller a ‘Good Man’ But Suggests Rosenstein Should Be Fired Unless Documents Released

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former White House political strategist Steve Bannon called special counsel Robert Mueller “a good man, a combat-veteran Marine” in a strong departure from President Trump’s rhetoric.

But Bannon also insisted in an interview with The Hill that there was no collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia and that Mueller should release a report on his findings before the mid-term elections so Americans can make up their own minds on the veracity of the investigation. 

“Let the American people, on Nov. 6, let them decide,” Bannon said. “They are going to say that is too thin a reed to hang anything serious on.”

Bannon also suggested Trump should fire Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, if he doesn’t disclose documents related to the Russia investigation.

“If he doesn’t do it in 72 hours, he’s fired. I’d fire him,” Bannon said.

Bannon’s positive comments about Mueller strongly contrast with Trump’s rhetoric.

“Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump, including the fact that we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship, I turned him down to head the FBI (one day before appointment as S.C.) & Comey is his close friend,” the president tweeted. “Also, why is Mueller only appointing Angry Dems, some of whom have worked for Crooked Hillary, others, including himself, have worked for Obama….And why isn’t Mueller looking at all of the criminal activity & real Russian Collusion on the Democrats side-Podesta, Dossier?”

Group of Conservative Lawmakers Are Trying to Impeach Deputy AG Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A group of conservative lawmakers are trying to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the top official overseeing Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Trump and his campaign’s role in Russian interference during the election.

Eleven Congressional members filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein on Wednesday, claiming he committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, introduced the politically risky measure.

They and nine other Republicans allege Rosenstein mishandled the FISA surveillance of Carter Page, a former adviser to Donald Trump; a lack of transparency; unnecessarily excessive redactions of documents; and violating a Congressional subpoena, Newsweek reports.

Observers believe it’s incredibly unlikely that the lawmakers will get enough votes to secure an impeachment conviction. The measure requires a majority in the House of Representatives and two-thirds support in the Senate.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May 2017 after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey – a move that has infuriated the president and his supporters.

Two of Law Enforcement’s Big Dogs Will Testify Thursday on the Hill

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifying before a House committee in December 2017.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Who knew C-Span could be so interesting?

Two big names in federal law enforcement, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, both Trump appointees, are scheduled to testify Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee about a recent Justice Department inspector general report that White House allies claim proves bias among FBI investigators in the Russia probe, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Meanwhile, the LA Times reports that House Republicans are pushing for a resolution that would set a July 6 deadline for the Justice Department to turn over confidential records on the FBI’s use of secret surveillance during the campaign.

 

Could Memo From Ex-FBI Agent Andrew McCabe Be Helpful in Mueller Probe?

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The intrigue from the Robert Mueller probe continues to intrigue.

The latest comes from a report in the New York Times which says former acting F.B.I. director, Andrew G. McCabe wrote a confidential memo last spring recounting a conversation that offered significant behind-the-scenes details on the firing of his boss, Director James B. Comey., according to several people familiar with the discussion.

Comey’s firing is a central to Mueller’s probe into whether President Trump tried to obstruct the investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia. McCabe has turned over his memo to the special counsel, the Times reports.

Citing “several people familiar with the discussion,” the Times reports that the document from McCabe describes a conversation at the Justice Department with the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, in the chaotic days last May after Mr. Comey’s abrupt firing. Mr. Rosenstein played a key role in the dismissal, writing a memo that rebuked Mr. Comey over his handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton.

 

Matthew Miller: Rod Rosenstein’s Decision Shows ‘The System is Failing’

Matthew Miller was director of the Justice Department’s public affairs office from 2009 to 2011.

By Matthew Miller
For the Washington Post

Rod Rosenstein

President Trump on Sunday launched his most direct attack on the Justice Department’s independence since he fired FBI Director James B. Comey, taking to Twitter to “hereby demand” that it open a counter-investigation of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Trump’s demand crossed every institutional norm that has long safeguarded the Justice Department’s independence. The president was calling for an investigation into both political opponents from the former administration and career law enforcement agents, without evidence of wrongdoing, for the obvious purpose of undermining a criminal probe into his own conduct and that of his associates. Trump was clearly testing the limits of the system that constrains presidential interference with the Justice Department. And the response so far — including Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s decision to refer the matter to the department’s inspector general — shows that the system is failing.

There is no legitimate justification for asking the inspector general to investigate a hyped-up claim that the FBI inappropriately infiltrated the Trump campaign. Just as in February there was no legitimate justification for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in response to claims by House Republicans, asking the inspector general to investigate alleged — and debunked — abuses by the department in securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against former Trump aide Carter Page.

To read the full column click here.

Trump on Whether He Plans to Fire Mueller or Rosenstein: ‘They’re Still There’

President Trump, via the White House

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump wouldn’t say Wednesday whether he planned to fire special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein but indicated he has cooperated with the probe.

When asked if he had “concluded it is not worth the political fallout” to fire his way out of the special counsel investigation, Trump responded by calling the probe a “hoax” and said neither he nor his campaign did anything wrong.

“They’ve been saying I’m going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months, and they’re still here. We want to get the investigations over with, done with, behind us,” the president said at a joint press conference in Florida with the visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Earlier this month, when asked whether he had plans to fire Mueller, Trump responded, “I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on. We’ll see what happens. Many people have said you should fire him. Again, they found nothing. And in finding nothing, that’s a big statement.”

Democrats and some Republicans have pledged to impeach Trump if he fires Mueller.

Meet the Little-Known Trump Official Who Could End the Mueller Probe

Solicitor General Noel Francisco

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The fate of the special counsel investigation that has cast a long shadow of the White House may ultimately fall into the hands of Solicitor General Noel Francisco, a little-known Trump appointee who happens to be no fan of the FBI or its former director, James Comey.

Many legal experts believe Trump lacks the authority to fire Rosenstein on his own, so the next quickest way to end the special counsel probe is to get someone else to do it.

If Trump fires Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and is overseeing the investigation, the next in line to become Mueller’s boss is Francisco, who has a history of fighting to protect what he sees as broad executive privileges.

Like Trump, Francisco has claimed Comey, whom the president fired in May, is motivated by a political biased against Trump. That has raised concerns that Francisco would be more likely to follow orders to fire Mueller, whose 11-month investigation has landed indictments against more than 20 people and entities.

“I don’t think we know enough to be confident,” Eric Columbus, a former senior Obama Justice Department official, told Politico. “I doubt he would fire Mueller but could limit him, which has always been the greater concern.”

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation, the removal of the deputy AG would give control of the Mueller investigation to the third-ranking Justice Department official, the associate attorney general, a job that has been vacant since Rachel Brand resigned from the position in February and has yet to be replaced.

Under Justice Department rules, Francisco, 48, is the next in line.

If Trump follows through, the move would be strikingly similar to President Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre in which he fired his attorney general and deputy attorney general for refusing to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox. The terminations left the decision up to Solicitor General Robert Bork, who fired Cox. A judge later ruled the termination was illegal.

 

400+ DOJ Officials Urge Congress to Respond ‘Swiftly’ If Trump Fires Mueller

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Hundreds of former Justice Department employees are calling on Congress to “swiftly and forcefully respond” if President Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the probe.

“It is up to the rest of us, and especially our elected representatives, to come to their defense and oppose any attempt by the President or others to improperly interfere in the Department’s work,” read a statement signed by more than 400 former officials who worked under current and previous administrations.

The statement adds, “We served out of a commitment to the founding American principles that our democratic republic depends upon the rule of law, that the law must be applied equally, and no one is above the law. … Those of us who served with these men know them to be dedicated public servants committed to these principles.”

Trump has stepped up his attack on the FBI and Justice Department, accusing top law enforcement officials of engaging in a politically driven “witch hunt.” He recently called the Justice Department “an embarassment to our country!” in a tweet.

Former and current Justice Department officials said in the statement that they are “deeply  disturbed by the attacks that have been levied against the good men and women of the Department.”

“Not only is it an insult to their public service, but any attempt to corrupt or undermine the evenhanded application of the rule of law threatens the foundation of our Republic,” the statement read.

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