Thursday, May 18, 2017

No Time to Take a Break

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein dropped two bombshells during a hotly-anticipated appearance before the Senate on Thursday, less than 24 hours after he announced the appointment of a special prosecutor in the FBI’s investigation into Russian election meddling.

According to lawmakers, Rosenstein confirmed that the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the election is no longer strictly a counterintelligence investigation — a kind of probe that does not normally result in charges — but also a criminal one.

He also said he was aware President Trump intended to fire Comey prior to penning a memo that the White House later used as its justification for the dismissal.

  The Hill
I'd hardly call that second thing a bombshell. But, I guess since this is the age of Trump, it's the age of superlatives.
Across town [...] Trump was ripping the appointment of the special counsel as something that “hurts the country.”

“I believe it hurts the country terribly, because it shows we’re a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country,” Trump told news anchors at a luncheon at the White House.


"The president is entitled to his opinion, but we’re a nation of laws. ... The acting attorney general has the authority to appoint a special counsel and has done so,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told reporters.
"Little Marco" may get the last laugh.
“[Rosenstein] declined to answer in any meaningful way questions about the process that lead to the decision to fire Jim Comey — the preparation of his memo, who told him [to write it],” [Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)] said, adding that he was asked whether he was directed to produce the memo multiple times.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, added that Rosenstein “did not answer specifics on virtually any question that was asked.”
Can they not hold him in contempt?
[S]enators — in part reassured by the selection of former FBI director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor — signaled they were willing to give forgive Rosenstein's tight-lipped stance if it was meant to protect the FBI's investigation.
How very generous. And that's a big "if".
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said, "there was some frustration” in the room.

“People wanted questions answered ...[but] it's not unreasonable position for him to take. People were respectful and thankful he showed up. He showed up. He didn’t have to.”
He showed up. He didn't answer any questions in any "meaningful way". But he showed up.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told reporters that Rosenstein was concerned that any comments he made to senators in the closed-door briefing “would be made public to press, so therefore he felt limited in what he could say.”
And keep his job.
Rosenstein will cross the Capitol on Friday to hold an identical meeting with House lawmakers.
Sounds like a waste of time.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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