Stocks Fall; America Rises; All Hail Rosenstein! Semper Fi!

iwo jimaDeputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein was boxed. Having participated in the firing of James Comey the FBI Director he was then the one responsible for overseeing the investigation into what President Trump called the fake Russian investigation. I am sure he believed that he could have done it fairly and with integrity. Perhaps he could have done it. But what he initially failed to realize is that his involvement with the Comey firing would always taint any decision he made.

He hung tough. Earlier this week he let it know he was going to handle the investigation but then something changed. Did his friends and associates tell him no matter how upstanding he is that any conclusion he reached would not be accepted by the public? He was seen too close to Sessions; he was seen as a Trump fall guy.

Perhaps he believed that the investigation was “fake” as the president proclaimed. Perhaps he had other reasons to think he could handle it. But he changed his mind. He did so without so much as a “how do you do” to Trump. Well, that’s not true, he did give him an hour’s lead on his decision which he knew was not enough time for him to get him shut down.

I’d have to guess that Rosenstein sensed the reputation for integrity that he built up over his 25 years service in the U. S. attorney’s office had been tarnished. Then, the actions of Trump in asking Comey to shut down the investigation of Flynn made him recognize that Trump was capable of asking him to do the same thing. He did not want to be put in that position. To avoid that he appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel.

He might also have figured that Trump kept calling the Russian investigation fake and he believed him. He knew part of his reason for firing Comey was because of the Russian investigation. But he said to himself, “why would Trump be asking Comey to shut down the investigation of Flynn if he thought there was nothing there and it was fake?” 

Few doubt what Comey has said is true. He documented his discussion right after it happened. Trump asked him to let the investigation against Flynn go away and when he didn’t Trump fired him. Rosenstein being a smart prosecutor did not want to get himself anyway near that situation. So he did what he felt was right. After all, wasn’t it Trump himself who said he wanted to get to the bottom of this.

Mueller saw combat in Vietnam as a Marine officer winning the Bronze Star. He went on to a distinguished career in the Justice Department and then became head of the FBI for 12 years. He is the best person Rosenstein could have selected for the job of special prosecutor.

I don’t know Mueller personally but have followed his career. A little known fact is that when William Weld was preparing to head up the Boston U.S. Attorney’s office I interviewed for the job as head of the criminal division. Weld picked Mueller over me. He did offer me the head of the drug division.  Upon reflection I thanked him and stayed in the position I had as an assistant DA. I knew deep down I wasn’t cut out to be a fed. I was friends with people who knew him well, some who served with him in Vietnam, who all sang his praises. Rosenstein as I said could not have made a better choice. Kudos to him.

The biggest thing about this is that it has shown that the system set up by our forefathers still works. We do have checks and balances. Even though as special prosecutor Mueller will work under Sessions you can take this to the bank: Sessions will stay a million miles away from him.

A good day is when good men rise to the top.  Yesterday was a good day. Lady Liberty smiles.

 

18 thoughts on “Stocks Fall; America Rises; All Hail Rosenstein! Semper Fi!

  1. Mueller was of Hale & Dorr, well-known Boston attorneys; William Weld was a Senior Partner there. A current partner there is Jamie Gorelick.

    Matt didn’t have a chance even had he been a Triple Eagle.

    1. Henry:

      He was a triple eagle but if you add the Marines he was a quadruple eagle. As far as having a chance I think I did until a better candidate came along. Weld made a wise appointment. My big problem was going in to interview for the job because I really was not cut out for it.

  2. Matt
    It’s wonderful how you paraphrase. You say Trump asked Comey to “shut down the investigation.” Absurd! Completely false! At most, if you accept the NYT’s rendition of the conversation, Trump merely expressed his hope that Comey could find a legal way to let Flynn go. He left everything up to Comey. He merely expressed a hope. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”
    He left it all in Comey’s hands.
    But of course, you must always present Trump in the darkest light. Now you conclude that Rosenstein told Trump about appointing Mueller one hour after the fact, because he knew Trump “would shut him down.”
    Trump has shut nothing down.
    2. Matt cannot be fair, objective or impartial when it comes to Trump: he’s compared Trump to Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, and called him a “buffoon”, “coward”, “loud mouth”, etc, while he excoriates Trump for calling people bad names like Pocahontas and crying Chuck.
    3. I’m glad Rosenstein has appointed Mueller. Let the investigation proceed and all can be quiet until it ends.
    4. Here’s what I say: “I hope Mueller will see his way clear to exposing this Russian-Collusion fantasy for what it is –farcical.” Oops, is that obstruction of justice? Or only when the President says it?

    Trump’s wishful statement is innocuous. It’s nothing more than saying, Flynn’s a good man; I hope he gets a fair deal.

    Conclusion: Trump neither asks nor tells Comey to shut down anything. McCabe, Comey’s successor, says zero interference from White House in any investigation and all investigations are proceeding apace.

    1. Bill:

      Trump never mentioned anything about legal. He asked Comey to let it go. It was so innocent that he told the others in the room to leave. Yes, he left it in Comey’s hands and when he didn’t he fired him.

      You’re right Trump has shut nothing down. He fired Sally Yates when she told him Flynn was compromised by Russia; he fired Comey when he would not shut down the investigation.

      I’m glad you are glad that Rosenstein appointed Mueller. From what I can see you would never have done it because Trump did nothing that warranted it.

      This whole thing could end in a minute if Trump disclosed his income taxes. He is his own worst enemy.

      I do think he is a buffoon. I’m sure 75% of America thinks the same thing.

  3. The latest from Reuters: You have to get to paragraph six to get the punchline:

    First paragraph: “Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.”

    Sixth Paragraph: “The people who described the contacts to Reuters said they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia in the communications reviewed so far.”

    And so it goes . . . 10 months of investigations, many felonious leaks, and no evidence of “collusion.”

    Of course, Reuters goes on to speculate they will now demand more and more “info” from the Trump people both before and after the election.

  4. wa-llahi! Bill. Even Tad can see that Glorious leader is going down. I’m just hoping Trump takes Pence with him.

  5. Topsy the Cat should have been an Investigation. It would never have stopped growing. The core issue to be examined is how wikileaks acquired the DNC emails. If Mueller can find out that and who murdered Seth Rich Trump’s maliciously motivated travails may prove to have been worth it. The fake news industry has followed joyously one red herring after another. I agree with Matt, bring in a pro and let the chips fall where they may.

    1. Tadzio:

      Seth Rich’s murder? Here’s what I’ve heard. Bill Clinton was in Washington DC that night. He hid in an alley with a guy named Vinny Foster. When they saw Seth coming they did him in. Loretta Lynch was waiting on the nearby street in her government issued justice department get away car. That was why shortly before the murder on July 10 Bill Clinton met with Lynch on June 27 in Arizona to see if she would be willing to be the driver. She drove her driver home and told him she wanted to take the car for a late night spin. Bill was the only one trusted by Hillary to carry out the deal but since he was not handy with a gun he brought V. Foster along who had fired one in the past. The motive was the Seth Rich had been planted in the DNC by Vlad the Conqueror. A little known fact is Seth was actually a member of the FSB. Just keep this to yourself.

  6. Making a lawyer special prosecutorp0p is a little like pushing a fat kid into a candy store. We’re in for many, many months of careful investigaton. In the short run, Trump will be helped since the clamor for an independent investigation will die down. But in the long run, it’s just gonna keep hanging over Trump’s head.

    1. Dan:

      Who knows what the long run will produce but whatever it is then we can at least believe it was done in the right way.

  7. The plot dissipates:

    Comey under oath on May 3rd says FBI was never pressured to halt investigations.

    The Facts:
    Hawaii Democratic Senator Hirono asked Comey: “So if the attorney general or senior officials at the Department of Justice oppose a specific investigation, can they halt that FBI investigation?
    Comey responded: “In theory, yes.”
    Senator Hirono asked: “Has it happened?”
    Comey responded: ““Not in my experience. Because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something that — without an appropriate purpose. I mean where oftentimes they give us opinions that we don’t see a case there, and so you ought to stop investing resources in it. But I’m talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal. It’s not happened in my experience.”

    Conclusion: Two months after his closed door meeting with Trump, Comey is testifying under oath that “in my experience” there’s never been political interference in an FBI investigation. Couple that with McCabe’s denials that there’s never been any interference in FBI investigations from the Trump Administration, and I’d conclude, “Case Closed!”

    1. So again you think Comey made the whole thing up? Wow. Then Rosenstein had no reason to appoint a special prosecutor. Too bad he didn’t consult with you to have the matter clarified. You do know a contemporaneous memo is admissible into evidence.

  8. So, Matt and all the MSM have reported that Comey was told in February to “shut down” an investigation, but Comey himself on May 3 testified under oath that he’d never been “told to stop something for a political purpose. Not in my experience.”

    Flynn was a political appointee of the president. Anyone doubt that?

  9. Monikers aside, let us remember the whole truth here…

    First, to understand the facts, a full reading of Director Comey’s testimony is incumbent:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/05/03/read-the-full-testimony-of-fbi-director-james-comey-in-which-he-discusses-clinton-email-investigation/?utm_term=.bec94dbc2ecf

    ========================================
    Second, POTUS is not “the attorney general or senior officials at the Department of Justice.” Comey’s statements say nothing about POTUS either way.

    Therefore, the “case” is very much still “open.”

    ========================================

    Director Comey also noted this:

    “COMEY: We’re conducting an investigation to understand whether there was any coordination between the Russian efforts and anybody associated with the Trump campaign.

    HIRONO: So since you’ve already confirmed that such an investigation is ongoing, can you tell us more about what constitutes that investigation?

    COMEY: No.”

    =================================
    Also:

    “FRANKEN: Director Comey, would President Trump’s tax returns be material to such an investigation?

    COMEY: That’s not something Senator that I’m going to answer.

    FRANKEN: Does the invest — does the investigation have access to President Trump’s tax returns?

    COMEY: I’m going to have to give you the same answer. Again I hope people don’t over interpret my answers, but I just don’t want to start talking about anything — what we’re looking at and how.”

  10. The Good Housekeeping Award is pre-emptively bestowed upon the worthy Bob Mueller. His was the trusty broom sweeping the decks of the Good Ship Boston FBI Circa Whitey . That the Agency survived that immersion in the Deep Waters of Jimmy Bulger’s ego owed much to Mueller’s stewardship . Expect a complete damage control operation from Bob Mueller . There is no ” there’ there . Comey’s incessant swanning around the citadels of power with his overbearing smug sense of impunity, and ” Command ” decisions Admiral’s tri-corner sailing six feet and eight inches over we simple salts just overdid it . Bob is on The Job . We like Bob!

  11. How about those Turkish heroes kicking the shit out of those pesky protesters? Trump must have complained to the Turks that the great unwashed were bothering him and could they do anything about it since the DC cops think protesting is legal. (McCain seems to be the only one pissed off at this. Why?

    1. The Turkish Ambassador has been summoned to Foggy Bottom to explain the beat-down. Theoretically, within the confines of US law, the citizenry grant police a monopoly over using violence, especially, deadly violence, to keep the peace. It’s a jealously guarded privilege. For every action, there’s a reaction. The State Dept will apply a suitable sanction.

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