Why Rod Rosenstein Is The First Witness in New Review of the Trump-Russia Collusion Fiasco

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Posted: May 28, 2020 5:30 PM
Why Rod Rosenstein Is The First Witness in New Review of the Trump-Russia Collusion Fiasco

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Well, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee will be reviewing the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, and the first witness is former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Maybe not everyone’s first choice, but Dan Bongino noted why this is well, though there are a whole host of people who need to be yanked back onto the Hill for more questions about this shoddy counterintelligence operation that was helmed by the Obama Department of Justice. 

Elizabeth Vaughn first wrote about this over at our sister site, RedState. Rosenstein is a key player in the second act of this fiasco that engulfed the nation for two years and broke the minds of the liberal media. He appointed Robert Mueller to take over the FBI’s counterintelligence probe after James Comey was fired in 2017. At this point, it’s quite clear that there was nothing to this circus act. The Trump dossier, an unverified political opposition research file that was compiled by ex-British spook Christopher Steele and funded by the Democrats, turned out to be total nonsense. And yet, it was cited as credible evidence to secure a FISA warrant against Carter Page, a former Trump campaign official, and launch Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI’s spy operation against the campaign. Sorry, sorry—it wasn’t spying, just undercover operatives trying to glean information from Trump campaign officials under false pretenses and relaying such intelligence to their superiors, but that’s not spying, right? My eyes cannot roll hard enough. And again, all of this based on a total fabrication. Former FBI intelligence official Kevin Brock torched the FBI, specifically disgraced former agent Peter Sztrok, who signed off on this operation, for not including the reasons why the FBI was spying on the Trump team in the paperwork. 

“What this FBI document clearly establishes is that Crossfire Hurricane was an illicit, made-up investigation lacking a shred of justifying predication, sprung from the mind of someone who despised Donald Trump, and then blessed by inexperienced leadership at the highest levels who harbored their own now well-established biases,” he wrote. 

The point is this thing went off the rails. The DOJ of a Democratic president spied on the presidential campaign of his political rivals. A shoddy document that was never truly verified, given the glaring errors in it, and used to spy on Page. It’s a mess, so what do we do. Well, let’s get a man with an impeccable reputation at the time, Mueller, appoint him special counsel and let him try and give the aura of legitimacy to this clown show of an investigation that overreached and abandoned all the rules in doing so. The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel has an excellent piece for why the Mueller probe should have a review of its own. That leads us to Michael Flynn.

Flynn was targeted because he spoke with the Russians, which was part of his job as an incoming national security adviser. There was a Logan Act angle, but it was too absurd. The man was targeted for a routine phone call. Yet, even with no evidence of collusion, Flynn had the screws put to him by the Special Counsel Office (SCO), which led to this politically motivated “lying to the FBI” charge. The agents who initially interviewed Flynn felt he didn’t lie. In fact, the FBI had all but concluded their review of Flynn, but Mueller rehashed it with sheer ruthlessness. This is one of the final battles occurring right now with this investigation, as the DOJ under Trump has filed a motion to dismiss the charges, as evidence shows he was the victim of an FBI plot to entrap him led by top DOJ officials; James Comey is at the top of that list. 

So, why drag Rosenstein up to take the first pitch? As Bongino noted, Rosenstein knew that President Trump was not a suspect, so appoint an SCO investigation against him? He added that it was done to get Trump, of course. He elaborated further on his show. Vaugh transcribed the key portions (via RedState):


In the following excerpts from an FBI 302 report, it is made clear three times that the FBI did not believe President Trump was a suspect. (Source of information: The Dan Bongino Show, Episode 1191, February 27, 2020)

1. FBI agents confirmed to [acting Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein on May 10, 2017 that the President was not a suspect.

2. This was also Rosenstein’s impression from his initial April 28 briefing he received from then Director Comey.

3. Rosenstein elaborated that based on his May 10 briefing, “there appeared to be no evidence the President was involved personally.”

FD-302 (excerpt): FBI Interview of Rod Rosenstein: May 23, 2017 (emphasis mine)

Events of May 10, 2017

Rosenstein first contacted Robert Mueller on May 10 at 7:34 am, but “of course” he was thinking about the issue of appointing a special counsel before that time.

Then, at 11:30 am, Rosenstein attended a previously scheduled meeting with the prosecutors assigned to the FBI’s Russia investigation. This was the first regularly scheduled meeting on the matter. During this first meeting, and in light of all the controversy surrounding the investigation, Rosenstein declared, “In my acting capacity as the Attorney General, leave no stone unturned” or words to that effect. However, those assigned to the case are career prosecutors, so in his personal opinion, telling them to do so was unnecessary because he knew they would do the right thing.

During his May 10 briefing, the team confirmed for Rosenstein that the President was not a suspect. This was also Rosenstein’s impression from his initial April 28 briefing he received from then Director Comey. Carl Ghattas may have attended this briefing, as well as several prosecutors.

Rosenstein elaborated that based on his May 10 briefing, “there appeared to be no evidence the President was involved personally.”Rosenstein inquired whether they needed additional resources, and was informed there was no such need.

Any reasonable person would assume that would have been the end of the Trump/Russia collusion story. But it wasn’t.

So why did Rosenstein appoint a special counsel to investigate President Trump, a man he knew was innocent?

Bongino’s Analysis:

Do you understand the tactical nuke this is? Rosenstein knows, he’s been briefed by the FBI as early as April, that this case is total garbage and that President Trump is not a suspect in this thing, and they refuse to clear him. Why?

Because the Mueller probe has one purpose…To nail Donald Trump.

On May 10, Mueller is appointed to investigate Trump for a scandal that doesn’t exist.

It was always an effort to accumulate enough political damage on Donald Trump to hopefully impeach him, to get him out of office before this thing resulted in some denouement at the end.

Now you have it nailed down. Rosenstein knew what Mueller was going to do. That’s why he appointed Andy Weissmann. Andy Weissmann having a reputation for, at best, shady legal tactics. They appointed him knowing he’d keep this case open and knowing Trump wasn’t a suspect the entire time.

Let’s not forget Manafort. Paul Manafort was Trump’s former campaign chair. The SCO went after him but only got him on wire fraud and tax evasion charges, not Russian collusion. They did, however, think he might be a foreign agent and that could lead to breadcrumbs to Trump. And they did so by reportedly leaking a fake news story about Manafort being under a FISA spy warrant. CNN peddled it. And it eventually got the judge overseeing the case to force Manafort’s lawyer to testify against him. The SCO, allegedly, executed a ploy to torch Manafort’s attorney-client privilege. Now that’s nasty—and it got them nothing. The man who started the second act to one of the greatest hoaxes in American political history should be brought front and center to answer more than a few questions.