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Tag Archives: Rod Rosenstein

Dershowitz: Using the 25th Amendment Would be a “Coup d’Etat”

Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz Tuesday said invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump would amount to staging a coup d’etat.

“The 25th amendment was intended for a president who is shot, a president who has had a stroke – a president who is incapacitated – not a president who you disagree with, or you think is creating havoc in the White House,” Dershowitz said during an appearance on Fox News.

“That’s what you have an election for. But you don’t use the 25th Amendment promiscuously,” he continued. “The 25th Amendment would constitute an unlawful coup – a coup d’etat” – for the first time in American history.”

The 25th Amendment permits the removal of the president by the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet if the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

Dershowitz said that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s willingness to even discuss the notion of using the 25th Amendment against Trump is disqualifying.

“I think he’s done. He’s not going to be the deputy attorney general after the election. The question is only now of timing . . . The day he mentioned the 25th Amendment, he was out,” Dershowitz said. The New York Times last week reported that Rosenstein, during a meeting with FBI DOJ officials, last spring discussed the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment.

Rosenstein responded that “any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false.” But did he discuss it? That’s not clear even in his “denial.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders Tuesday refused to comment on whether Trump was planning to fire Rosenstein. Trump and Rosenstein plan to meet Thursday. My guess is Trump isn’t quite sure himself what he’s going to do.

UPDATE: Rosenstein “Offered” to Resign, According to Revised Report

This article, which originally referenced reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had resigned, has not been updated to reflect the change in the reports, which now say that he “offered” to resign. Rosenstein is not out yet, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

Earlier today, Axios incorrectly reported that Rosenstein had resigned, writing:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has verbally resigned to Chief of Staff John Kelly in anticipation of being fired by President Trump, according to a source with direct knowledge. Per a second source with direct knowledge: “He’s expecting to be fired,” so he plans to step down.

Now, the same report has been changed to say that Rosenstein “offered to resign.”

Rosenstein was recently reported to have suggested during a 2017 meeting that President Trump be wiretapped – although others have claimed the comment was made sarcastically – and supposedly entertained invoking the 25th Amendment to force Trump to step down.

Rosenstein may still be out at Justice after the meeting with Trump. It’s not clear what his future is.

NY Times: Rosenstein Wanted to Tape Trump, Talked 25th Amendment; Is it True?

The New York Times Friday reported the following. I urge you to use caution with this and consider the sources, which appear to be, well, the New York Times, and various officials hostile to President Trump, like former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

According to the Times report:

The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.

Mr. Rosenstein made the remarks about secretly recording Mr. Trump and about the 25th Amendment in meetings and conversations with other Justice Department and F.B.I. officials. Several people described the episodes in interviews over the past several months, insisting on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The people were briefed either on the events themselves or on memos written by F.B.I. officials, including Andrew G. McCabe, then the acting bureau director, that documented Mr. Rosenstein’s actions and comments.

None of Mr. Rosenstein’s proposals apparently came to fruition. It is not clear how determined he was about seeing them through, though he did tell Mr. McCabe that he might be able to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security and now the White House chief of staff, to mount an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Rosenstein flatly denies the story. The Justice Department provided an anonymous source who said they were at the meeting and that Rosenstein mentioned a wiretap but was only being sarcastic. What’s more, the Times appears to not be relying directly on anyone who was at the meeting – other than the denials.

In his radio program Friday night, Mark Levin poses an excellent theory about what is going on here. Levin, a former chief of staff at the Justice Department, says he is being told that Rosenstein never seriously contemplated such things. Levin believes enemies of the president are trying to anger him into firing Rosenstein and provoke a crisis that could hand Democrats the Congress and sink the Kavanaugh nomination.

Makes sense to me. A sudden Constitutional crisis. New charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Justice by Trump. Questions raised anew about whether Kavanaugh loves executive power and would act to protect Trump.

Conservatives, and the White House, would be wise to be careful before falling into what could be a trap.

Judge Raises Doubts About Whether Mueller Can Probe Whatever He Wants

There once was something called in “independent counsel.” The problem with that was that the independent counsel could just run amock and investigate anything and everything forever.

So they let the law authorizing independent counsels expire and decided these probes would be done by a “special counsel” who reported to the Department of Justice. Presumably, that would put some limits on the investigation. But not, apparently, under the authority of Rod Rosenstein.

Now a federal judge is wondering what’s up.

Because it seems Mueller will soon be looking for Jimmy Hoffa and investigating the Kennedy assassination.

According to Politico:

A federal judge raised doubts Thursday about the scope of the order used to appoint special counsel Robert Mueller to probe alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

During a two-and-a-half hour hearing in one of Mueller’s criminal cases against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson questioned whether Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s directive appointing Mueller granted him more authority than Justice Department regulations appear to permit.

Manafort’s lead defense attorney, Kevin Downing, noted that the May 17 order appointing Mueller grants him authority to pursue the Trump-Russia probe as well as other issues that “may arise” from that investigation. Downing said that was at odds with Justice’s rules, which say a special counsel must be told of the “specific factual matter” in his or her mandate.

“That’s a fair point,” Jackson said, adding later: “I don’t think that, as good as he is, that the deputy attorney general can see into the future.”

Rosenstein Told Trump He’s Not a “Target” of Mueller’s, But it Doesn’t Matter

One of the big stories circulating this afternoon is that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in his mysterious White House meeting with Donald Trump last week informed the president he is not a “target” of Robert Mueller’s investigation.

According to Bloomberg:

Rosenstein, who brought up the Mueller probe himself, offered the assurance during a meeting with Trump at the White House last Thursday, a development that helped tamp down the president’s desire to remove Rosenstein or Mueller, the people said.

After the meeting, Trump told some of his closest advisers that it’s not the right time to remove either man since he’s not a target of the probe. One person said Trump doesn’t want to take any action that would drag out the investigation.

But Bloomberg also quoted former FBI Director James Comey, who noted that Trump would only be a “target” if he were on the way to being charged:

“I don’t know what it means. It is a fairly standard part of any investigation — trying to decide whether a person you’re encountering is a witness, a subject or a target,” former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Trump, said Thursday on CNN when asked what Rosenstein’s assurance to Trump means at this point.

A target is someone about whom an investigation and a grand jury “developed significant evidence — evidence sufficient to charge,” Comey said.

This is just about pacifying Trump and keeping him from firing Rosenstein and Mueller. They can make Trump a “target” anytime they want.

It’s as if your personal assassin, hired by your neighbor, told you that you were not a target because he hadn’t pointed his gun at you yet. Well, you still have a problem.

That Sinking Feeling

The raid on Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s offices is a profound event.

Cohen is Trump’s tough-talking, slightly shady-seeming attorney. He knows where Trump buries the bodies. And if he doesn’t cave and testify himself, lots of information about Trump may be on his electronic gadgets, all of which were seized.

The entire Russia investigation was built on a house of cards. But a house of cards can turn out to have a pretty strong foundation. Trump’s opponents decided there was “collusion” and generated enough of an outcry to make it an issue, even though there was no evidence of anything of the sort. And there still isn’t, at least not that’s been made public.

The problem for Trump was the appointment of a special prosecutor. The reason we don’t give prosecutors unlimited money and time, which a “special” prosecutor has – because he is special – is that our system is supposed to be biased in favor of the defendant, who is presumed innocent.

A prosecutor with unlimited resources will find deep corruption within every organization ever run by Mother Theresa. To put it another way, if you spend all day performing a colonoscopy on a 71-year-old man, particularly one involved in real estate and construction all his life, you are bound to find some polyps.

The appointment of a special prosecutor stemmed from Trump’s own impetuous effort to cleanse himself of the Russia investigation – and some bad advice by Jared Kushner – by firing James Comey as FBI director. In doing so, he involved Attorney General Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, who wrote a letter supporting the move.

Rosenstein, a veteran member of the Deep State who had always been in ensconced there in good standing, suddenly looked like a Trump lackey. Whether to save his reputation or because he was now involved in firing the man who was investigating the Russia collusion – I believe it was for both reasons – Rosenstein felt he had to recuse himself after Sessions did and hired a special prosecutor. – Sessions had felt he had to recuse himself because he was part of the campaign.

The Deep State may have its revenge. Democrats may be permitted to undermine the election. But Special Prosecutor Mueller, in his orderly, methodical, Boy Scout manner, is playing with fire.

Those who elected Trump exactly because of people like Rosenstein and Mueller will not be happy.

House Intel Panel Votes to Release Secret Russia Memo

The House Intelligence Committee Monday voted along party lines to release a secret memo that is said to show that the FBI abused its power in ordering the surveillance of at least one former Trump campaign associate, Carter Page.

President Trump now has to decide if the memo should be released. The White House has suggested that Trump wants to let the public see the memo, but his own Justice Department has argued against it.

According to the New York Times:

The memo, which was made available to all members of the House, is said to contend that officials from the two agencies were not forthcoming to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge. Republicans accuse the agencies of failing to disclose that the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign helped finance research that was used to obtain a warrant for surveillance of Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser. The research presented to the judge was assembled by a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele.

The memo is not limited to actions taken by the Obama administration, though. The New York Times reported on Sunday that the memo reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, a top Trump appointee, signed off an application to extend the surveillance of Mr. Page shortly after taking office last spring. The renewal shows that the Justice Department under Mr. Trump saw reason to believe that Mr. Page was acting as a Russian agent.

The inclusion of Mr. Rosenstein’s action in the memo could expose him to a torrent of criticism from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from conservatives in the media who have seized on the surveillance to argue that the Russia investigation may have been tainted from the start. Mr. Rosenstein is overseeing that investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself. It was Mr. Rosenstein who appointed Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel.

Video || Rod Rosenstein Grilled by House Judiciary Republicans

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Wednesday said he saw no reason to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and, as per statute, he therefore would not do so if told to by President Trump

How did we get in a situation where Rosenstein, a confirmed swamp creature who has been in and around the Justice Department all his life, was permitted to appoint fellow swamp creature Robert Mueller to investigate, among other things, the firing of a third swamp creature, former FBI Director James Comey, by the man who is also a de facto target of the probe, Donald Trump, who was ELECTED TO DRAIN THE SWAMP??

Here’s some video from Rosenstein’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. What an unlikable seeming character he is.

Trump Goes After Rod Rosenstein

President Trump Friday seemed to suggest he is furious with Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who appointed Robert Mueller to be special counsel. “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt,” Trump tweeted. I am being investigated for firing the… Continue Reading

Trump Denies Asking Comey to Shut Down Flynn Probe

President Trump said unequivocally today that he did not urge former FBI Director James Comey, in any way, to shut down the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Trump spoke in the East Room during a press conference with Colombian President Santos. From the White House transcript. Q  Thank you, Mr. President. In… Continue Reading

Why, Exactly, Do We Need a Special Prosecutor?

I don’t get it. Somone nobody never heard of, as they say in Joisey, Rod Rosenstein, decided that what the Russia election influence case demands is an investigator who is now going to spend years poking around the Trump administration looking for wrongdoing and crippling, or at least harming, the ability of the White House to… Continue Reading

Mueller Named Special Counsel to Probe Russian Influence in 2016 Election

Yes, good idea. Putting country above Party. Just like the Obama administration did during the Hillary Clinton email probe. Oh, wait a second, that actually didn’t happen. From the Department of Justice: Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein today announced the appointment of former Department of Justice official and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III… Continue Reading