Today in a court filing, surrounding a FOIA case seeking access to the fully unredacted Carter Page FISA application, the DOJ clarified the position of the DOJ as it pertains to President Trump’s May 2019 declassification authority. (pdf available here)
The DOJ highlights that President Trump did not order AG William Barr to declassify anything. Instead, according to the official position of the DOJ, President Trump “delegated authority” to the Attorney General to determine *if* anything should be declassified:
Whether AG Bill Barr does actually declassify anything is open to debate. The current odds remain slightly less than 50/50; however, those odds could diminish significantly if the impeachment effort is successful.
The current priority for the Dept. of Justice does not appear to be highlighting internal corruption that targeted President Trump. The current institutional priority appears to be protecting Rod Rosenstein. However, we should have a better idea exactly where this will all end when we see the IG Report on potential FISA abuses against Carter Page.
Notice how in the recently released McCabe memo (FOIA release) the DOJ is redacting the aspects of the appointment of a special counsel. The redaction justification: b(5) “inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency.” Or put another way: stuff we just don’t want to share: “personal privacy” etc.
When combined with the testimony by Mueller in response to the questioning by Rep. Andy Biggs, the redacted information looks like current DOJ officials hiding the timing of the decision-making to appoint Mueller thereby protecting Rod Rosenstein.
More motive for this showed up during a statement last week Matt Whitaker who appeared on Tucker Carlson television show. Whitaker outlined why Rosenstein could never admit to having said he would wear a wire at the time the story broke.
When the “wear-a-wire” story first surfaced was when DAG Rosenstein was trying to convince President Trump not to declassify any information until after the Mueller special counsel was concluded. Rosenstein’s justification for his instructions surrounded President Trump possibly obstructing justice during Mueller’s investigation.
Remember, Rosenstein expanded the scope of Mueller’s investigation twice, the second time targeting Michael Flynn Jr. Also, Rosenstein participated in the indictment of fictitious Russia trolls and a Russian catering company. Yes, all indications are that Rod Rosenstein was a willing participant in the overall McCabe/Mueller effort.
Ultimately all of the DOJ obfuscation, delay and hidden information under AG Bill Barr has an identical motive: help protect Rod Rosenstein. That effort continues with ongoing internal DOJ redactions…
….The problem for Attorney General Bill Barr is not investigating what we don’t know, but rather navigating through what ‘We The People’ are already aware of…. (link)
Within the DOJ review of the Trump-Russia investigation, anything that spotlights Rosenstein’s involvement/duplicity is being buried. Perhaps this was part of the agreement where Rosenstein agreed to “stay on” and support Barr so long as Barr later protected his interests….. this scenario, against known activity, seems rather likely.
Lastly, because institutional intents generally follow patterns, is worth noting the parallels… In the new Trump-Ukraine investigation/exploitation toward impeachment, it appears current ICIG Michael Atkinson is following a similar path previously walked by Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. That is…
…willful compliance with a dose of plausible deniability.
Quite simply all of the current political operatives working against President Trump would not be able to advance so successfully if AG Bill Barr was highly engaged and watching for corruption in the way the intelligence apparatus was operating.