There are two warring camps: Team Rosenstein and Team McCabe. Team Rosenstein consists of current officials: Jeff Sessions, Dana Boente et al; and Team McCabe has former officials: Lisa Page, James Baker, Mike Kortan et al.
Each camp has a media outlet to push their narrative. Team Rosenstein has The Washington Post; Team McCabe is using The New York Times. Sources for NYT reporting are from team McCabe; Sources for WaPo reporting are from Team Rosenstein. Understand this, and the reporting narrative context makes more sense.
Both Andrew McCabe and Rod Rosenstein took corrupt and illegal action to try and take down the President of the United States. However, generally speaking, McCabe’s actions were specifically intended to facilitate a soft-coup; whereas Rosenstein was more of a willingly facilitating useful idiot in the grand scheme.
Example 1: Former FBI Chief Legal Counsel James Baker and Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe worked together to assemble the post-election “small group”, which eventually gained legitimate legal authority when Baker and McCabe convinced Rosenstein to hire Robert Mueller.
Baker and McCabe were intentionally manipulating the events; DAG Rosenstein was the patsy going along because he wasn’t inside the team in 2016 when it all began.
Example 2: Andrew McCabe and the “small group” assembled the third FISA-Title1 surveillance renewal on Carter Page on June 29th, 2017. This renewal extended the use of surveillance for Robert Mueller to exploit – for intelligence against the President. Rod Rosenstein signed the third renewal, based on their word, because the corrupt small group presented it to him. Again, likely Rosenstein was the useful idiot, the patsy.
The June 29th, FISA renewal was then used by the “small group” to dig into all of the communication within the Trump administration and anyone who was in contact with the subject of the surveillance warrant, Carter Page. This surveillance included congress. In protecting their interests, it was the surveillance that was most useful. The surveillance didn’t end until late October ’17 when the FISA expired.
Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein created a mess by going along with the corrupt officials inside the FBI and DOJ. By facilitating their endeavors – he was aiding the soft-coup attempt.
It’s ok to argue whether this was intentional (Team McCabe position) or unintentional (Team Rosenstein position); however, regardless of intent, the outcome was the same.
So today the Washington Post (Team Rosenstein) posts an article noting the Deputy AG will not be fired, and will likely remain in his position until after the mid-terms. If you understand the White House position, this begins to make sense.
From the White House position the knucklehead Rod Rosenstein needs to clean up the mess he has created. From knucklehead’s position, he wants out before congress starts asking him questions.
WaPo – Rod J. Rosenstein’s departure seemed so certain this week that his boss’s chief of staff told colleagues that he had been tapped by the White House to take over as second-in-command of the Justice Department, while another official would supervise the special counsel probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, people familiar with the matter said.
But by Monday afternoon, the succession plan had been scrapped. Rosenstein, who told the White House he was willing to quit if President Trump wouldn’t disparage him, would remain the deputy attorney general in advance of a high-stakes meeting on Thursday to discuss the future of his employment. The other officials, too, would go back to work, facing the prospect that in just days they could be leading the department through a historic crisis.
Inside the Justice Department on Tuesday, officials still struggled to understand the events that nearly produced a seismic upheaval in their leadership ranks — until it didn’t — and they braced for a potential repeat of that chaos later in the week. (keep reading)
Note: “if President Trump wouldn’t disparage him”; that’s codespeak for if the White House doesn’t call him out as standing at the epicenter of the corrupt eighteen months of Special Counsel horse-pucky he facilitated. The evidence of the horse-pucky origination is underneath the FISA and Bruce Ohr declassification material currently on hold.
So how did we get here?
Start with how Rod Rosenstein was hired:
03:15 “[Rosenstein] was hired by Jeff Sessions. I was not involved in that process because, you know, they go out and they get their own deputies, and the people that work in that department and Jeff Sessions hired him.”
~ President Donald Trump
I post this recent interview with President Trump because so many people keep claiming some complex strategy surrounding President Trump hiring/nominating Rosenstein etc.
President Trump brought the CEO perspective to the White House. Part of that perspective is to let Department Executive Officers (ie. cabinet members) select their own deputies. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wanted Rod Rosenstein as Deputy AG. That’s why President Trump nominated Rosenstein. Nothing more. Not strategic Machiavellian deep state chess nonsense. Sessions wanted him, so Trump nominated him.
This is not difficult to ascertain. It is not complex. It is quite simple.
So the question becomes why did President Trump select Jeff Sessions as Attorney General?
Again, not a difficult question to answer. President Trump has repeatedly said why he selected Jeff Sessions. (His biggest mistake).
Senator Jeff Sessions told President-elect Trump he wanted to be the Attorney General. Senator Sessions lobbied P-E Trump for the job. Trump gave Sessions the position out of appreciation for his campaign support.
There wasn’t a political strategy behind selecting Senator Jeff Sessions, other than thinking he would likely do a good job. President-elect Trump did not know Sessions was going to recuse himself from the biggest drain on his term in office, and create two-years of DOJ chaos.
Senator Jeff Sessions wanted to be the U.S. Attorney General, President-elect Trump gave the position to him. AG Jeff Sessions wanted Rod Rosenstein as his Deputy AG; President Trump gave Rosenstein to him.
These are not complex multidimensional strategic decisions. These are straightforward reasons for what transpired. Not complex. That’s why we are here, where it all stands today.
DAG Rosenstein then hired former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel. In part due to the recommendation of FBI Legal Counsel Jim Baker and FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Likely unbeknownst (at least in initial operational totality) to Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe and James Baker were part of the corrupt DOJ/FBI inside network conspiring to take-down the President. Hence the: “what do you want me to do Andy, wear a wire?”… conversation.
Because Rosenstein either: (a) participated; or (b) was a useful idiot, he has now put himself into a massive position of compromise. His stewardship over the DAG position (which is more powerful due to JS recusal), has failed massively.
And now there’s the stuff behind the declassification directive (temporarily on hold) which makes DAG Rosenstein look even worse.
Either: (a) Rosenstein is more corrupt; or (b) Rosenstein is more stupid.
So Rosenstein wants OUT before it gets worse. According to the New York Times (Team McCabe) the Deputy AG tried to politely resign five times recently. Once to Don McGahn, twice to John Kelly, and twice to President Trump.
But the White House is saying…. ‘not so fast knucklehead, you willfully made this mess – now clean it the hell up’!!
Forget the media spin on Rod Rosenstein. This is his actual position. President Trump has him by the proverbial balls. Eighteen months worth of headaches as a result of his: (a) intentional efforts; or (b) ineptitude. Because for all things that mattered the AG was recused, and the DAG was in charge.
When you have this much leverage on someone, you don’t want them to quit. You want to use their damaged and tenuous position to your advantage. President Trump is in no hurry to fire Rosenstein (not yet); because the DAG is so weak and President Trump holds all the leverage in the relationship.
Rod Rosenstein knows what he did wrong; and President Trump knows what Rosenstein did wrong. Though it could change based on new discoveries, President Trump isn’t likely to let Rosenstein go until everyone else knows what Rosenstein did wrong.
I can imagine the conversation:
“Okay Rod, *YOU* want to quit right? Well, then *YOU* get rid of the Special Counsel *YOU* started, and then *YOU* can quit. Until then, you can feel the stress and endure the reputational death by a thousand paper cuts….
….As long as I’ve got to deal with this nonsense, you ain’t going anywhere. You can deal with it right along with me…. And if congress wants to haul your butt up to Capitol Hill and have you explain why you said you’d “wear a wire”etc., then you need to go explain and deal with it.”