Rod Rosenstein, like everybody else, is ‘furious’ and ‘amazed’ at Trump’s tweets
Among those taken aback by Donald Trump’s attempt on Friday to slander the deputy attorney general overseeing the special counsel investigation into the president’s campaign was, surprise, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
One lawyer who knows Rosenstein well told Politico that the deputy AG is “furious” and “amazed” at Trump’s tweet, in which #45 confirms he’s under investigation for obstruction of justice and accuses Rosenstein of being responsible for James Comey’s firing and therefore incapable of managing the probe.
I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
Considering that Trump strong-armed Rosenstein into writing a letter about Comey’s performance in the first place — a letter that never actually recommended the ex-FBI director’s firing — and that Rosenstein didn’t know POTUS would use the letter as his justification for the decision, it’s easy to see how dude would be annoyed.
“I think he will hit his breaking point soon with this guy,” the lawyer friend said.
News of Rosenstein’s reaction comes amid mounting worries on Capitol Hill that Trump will binge “Apprentice” episodes to fire himself up for a new round of terminations targeting top Justice Department officials.
Senator Dianne Feinstein told the Associated Press she was “increasingly concerned” that Trump will fire Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller. “The message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn’t apply to him and that anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired,” Feinstein said.
Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, invoked Watergate to remind Congress the stakes. “If President Trump were to try to replicate Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre by firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in addition to Mueller,” Schiff said, “Congress must united to stop him without respect to party, and for the safe of the nation.”
It sounds like a firing spree is definitely on the table. According to the AP, Trump has told associates he has the legal authority to fire Mueller (he doesn’t). Racist Beanie Baby Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump Jr., who does not know how to use a chair, reportedly support the decision. If Baby Boss does want Mueller out, the order would have to come from Rosenstein, placing the deputy AG in a position to either resign or call Trump’s bluff.
“I think Rod’s going to be able to handle whatever position he’s put in and do what the job calls for. Tweets are not going to change how he approaches something,” said Jan Miller, a former U.S. attorney in Illinois who worked with Rosenstein in the Maryland office. “I know it sounds somewhat trite, I suppose, but it’s just the way it is. He’s going to do what needs to be done.”
Hopefully Rosenstein’s replacement has equal integrity.