In the wake of the past week’s memo scandal, all eyes have been on former FBI Director James Comey and special counsel Robert Mueller.
There are growing questions about anti-Trump bias and possible illegal activity within the bureau… but lost in the shuffle is another player who may be far from innocent: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Rosenstein is one of the officials who gave his word to Congress that there was no widespread bias within the Department of Justice. As that claim seems increasingly untrue, however, the top justice official may be the one facing serious questions next.
For now, Donald Trump was the one fielding questions on Friday. After the scathing memo alleging negligence and bias within the FBI was released, reporters naturally asked the president to comment.
“Speaking from the Oval Office, Trump described the findings ‘a disgrace,’ adding, ‘People should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that,’” reported the Independent Journal Review.
Then the media asked the president if he still had confidence in Deputy AG Rosenstein. Trump threw out a scathing response.
“You figure that one out,” he shot back, with a look and tone that was clearly frustrated.
That answer is Trump Speak for “of course not, why did you even ask that?” It’s a good point: After all that we now know about bias and the memo, why would Trump still have confidence in a figure at the center of the scandal?
Trump isn’t the only one who is exasperated with excuses coming out of the Department of Justice, particularly from Rosenstein. In December, Trey Gowdy unloaded on Rosenstein during a congressional session.
“What in the hell is going on with the Department of Justice and the FBI?” Gowdy bluntly asked Rosenstein.
“Those who are supposed to make sure there are no conflicts of interest seem to have a few of their own!” Gowdy continued, before listing off examples of bias within the FBI… and that was even before the scathing memo came out.
At the time, Rosenstein offered weak assurances that the country should just trust him.
“What I recommend you tell your constituents is that Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, and Chris Ray are accountable, and that we will ensure no bias is reflected,” the deputy attorney general responded.
If the now famous House Intelligence Committee memo is correct, however, Rosenstein was significantly biased the whole time… and his fingerprints are all over the FBI wiretapping and dossier scandal.
The memo states that Rosenstein was one of the key officials who signed off on FISA warrant applications on behalf of the DOJ.
That means that even while knowing that the so-called Russian dossier was flimsy or even fabricated — and knowing full well that it came from a biased anti-Trump source — the deputy attorney general still endorsed a wiretap against American citizens at Trump Tower.
Rosenstein may try to pretend that America has his word, but it doesn’t seem to be worth much anymore. The nation deserves answers, and Comey, Mueller, and Rosenstein need to start explaining their actions.
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