Through a FOIA request Judicial Watch has received Rod Rosenstein’s email communication around the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller [See Here]. The content further confirms when Rosenstein took Mueller to the White House on May 16th, 2017, the purpose was for Mueller to preview his target, President Trump.
Many are focused on May 12, 2017, where Rosenstein sent an email to Robert Mueller, Subject: “I assume you realize”… “The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions”; however, that date is being misconstrued.
Rosenstein took Mueller to visit Jeff Sessions on May 13th, the specifics of that email likely concern keeping prior private conversations out of the discussion with Sessions.
If we insert the Rosenstein email conversation into our timeline the picture is clear.
Perhaps the most important aspect is how DAG Rosenstein took Robert Mueller to the White House on May 16th, to interview President Trump. The decision to appoint Mueller as special counsel was pre-determined prior to the White House visit:
♦James Comey was fired at approximately 5:00pm EST on Tuesday May 9th, 2017. The next morning, less than 15 hours after Comey was fired, Rosenstein contacted Robert Mueller about the special counsel appointment.
During the congressional testimony of Robert Mueller, Representative Andy Biggs noted evidence of a phone call between Mueller and Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday May 10th, 2017, at 7:45am. Listen carefully at the 2:26 point of the video.
From the current FOIA release we can see that following the 7:45am phone call Rod Rosenstein received contact info from Mueller’s asst (8:09am), and Rosenstein emailed his assistant at 8:13am with instructions to contact Mueller’s asst and set up a meeting for Friday May 12th:
Marcia Murphy from the Office of the DAG, then followed through and set up a meeting for 8:00am, Friday May 12th at Main Justice, between Rosenstein and Mueller:
Following that May 12th 8:00am meeting with Mueller, Rod Rosenstein then met with Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe Andrew McCabe. – According to McCabe:
… “[Rosenstein] asked for my thoughts about whether we needed a special counsel to oversee the Russia case. I said I thought it would help the investigation’s credibility. Later that day, I went to see Rosenstein again. This is the gist of what I said: I feel strongly that the investigation would be best served by having a special counsel.” (link)
Later that night (May 12th), at 9:15pm Rosenstein then emails Robert Mueller: “I assume you realize the boss and his staff do not know about our discussions.”
That email is directly related to a meeting scheduled on Saturday May 13th between Rosenstein, Mueller and Jeff Sessions; which is confirmed in the Andy Biggs questioning.
♦Sunday May 14th – Comey transmitted copies of Memos 2, 4, and 6, and a partially redacted copy of Memo 7 to Patrick Fitzgerald, who was one of Comey’s personal attorneys. Fitzgerald received the email and PDF attachment from Comey at 2:27 p.m. on May 14, 2017, per the IG report.
♦Monday May 15th, McCabe states he and Rosenstein conferred again about the Special Counsel approach. McCabe: “I brought the matter up with him again after the weekend.”
On this same day was when James Rybicki called SSA Whistleblower to notify him of Comey’s memos. The memos were “stored” in a “reception area“, and in locked drawers in James Rybicki’s office.
♦Tuesday May 16th – Per the IG report: “On the morning of May 16, Comey took digital photographs of both pages of Memo 4 with his personal cell phone. Comey then sent both photographs, via text message, to Richman.
Back in Main Justice at 12:30pm Rod Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe, Jim Crowell and Tashina Guahar all appear to be part of this meeting. I should note that alternate documentary evidence, gathered over the past two years, supports the content of this McCabe memo. Including texts between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok:
[Sidebar: pay attention to the *current* redactions; they appear to be placed by existing DOJ officials in an effort to protect Rod Rosenstein for his duplicity in: (A) running the Mueller sting operation at the white house on the same day; (B) the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel, which was pre-determined before the Oval Office meeting.]
While McCabe was writing this afternoon memo, still May 16th, Rod Rosenstein took Robert Mueller to the White House for a meeting in the oval office with President Trump and VP Mike Pence.
After six days of phone calls, emails and in person meetings, this visit to the White House was clearly Rod Rosenstein introducing Robert Mueller to the target of the investigation. Rosenstein already knew he was going to appoint Mueller; and Mueller, along with the small group in the FBI, already knew Mueller was going to be appointed.
Later that night (May 16th), following the Mueller visit, there was a debriefing session back at Main Justice. This evening meeting appears to be Lisa Page, Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe; along with Tashina Gauhar again taking notes.
♦ Wednesday May 17th, 2017: Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe go to brief the congressional “Gang-of-Eight”: Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devin Nunes, Adam Schiff, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Richard Burr and Mark Warner.
… […] “On the afternoon of May 17, Rosenstein and I sat at the end of a long conference table in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol. We were there to brief the so-called Gang of Eight—the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Rosenstein had, I knew, made a decision to appoint a special counsel in the Russia case.”
[…] “After reminding the committee of how the investigation began, I told them of additional steps we had taken. Then Rod took over and announced that he had appointed a special counsel to pursue the Russia investigation, and that the special counsel was Robert Mueller.” (link)
Immediately following this May 17, 2017, Go8 briefing, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein notified the public of the special counsel appointment.
According to President Trump’s Attorney John Dowd, the White House was stunned by the decision. [Link] Coincidentally, AG Jeff Sessions was in the oval office for unrelated business when White House counsel Don McGahn came in and informed the group.
Jeff Sessions immediately offered his resignation, and Sessions’ chief-of-staff Jody Hunt went back to the Main Justice office to ask Rosenstein what the hell was going on.