Unless something changes again in the mercurial mind of Donald Trump, it looks like Rod Rosenstein will survive the day. He survived last Friday, Sept. 21, when the New York Times published a report that he had raised the possibility of wearing a wire in the White House and had discussed invoking the 25th Amendment against the president. He survived Monday, Sept.
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Yesterday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted:
A Rigged System - They don’t want to turn over Documents to Congress. What are they afraid of? Why so much redacting? Why such unequal “justice?” At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!
On Thursday, Benjamin Wittes published his assessment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s Dec. 13 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. While I understand Ben’s considerable concern about the nature of the politics the hearing so openly displayed, I do think Rosenstein did two things that defended the credibility of the special counsel’s investigation.
I have not watched all of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. But I watched three hours of it, and that was quite enough to convey the disturbing and dangerous nature of the current moment.
I’m happy to be wrong, but I don’t expect the Deputy Attorney General’s recent speech to spark productive engagement in the standoff over encryption.
On Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave remarks about encryption at the U.S. Naval Academy. His speech as prepared for delivery can be read here.
At 11 a.m. Friday morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein held a press conference on "Leaks of Classified Material Threatening National Security." Video of the press conference is available here and below.
President Trump yesterday issued a stunning vote of no-confidence in basically everyone currently in a leadership position in the Justice Department, the FBI, or the special counsel’s office—in other words, not just some federal law enforcement, but all of it.
In the weeks and months after the presidential election—and even before it—an unusual debate took shape on the pages of Lawfare and elsewhere: Would it be possible to serve ethically in a Trump administration? And even if it is possible, should a person of conscience do it?
One of us was admittedly very hard last week on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for his role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey. His drafting of a memo criticizing Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation—which the administration now admits is an entirely pretextual basis for the dismissal of the FBI Director—struck Ben as shocking for reasons he explained.