Malacandra.me

Did Rosenstein really “suggest” wearing a wire? Not likely

Did Rosenstein really "suggest" wearing a wire? Not likely

by digby

The New York Times has reported out some gossip from inside the Justice Department back in May of 2017 around the time of the Comey firing in which a meeting between former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein and others discussed the fact that Trump was a cretinous moron (my words not theirs). According to the Times, Rosenstein said he could talk to Kelly and Sessions about invoking the 25th Amendment declaring Trump incompetent and that he could wear a wire to record the president.  Apparently, he was also upset about being used by the president to write that silly memo rationalizing the Comey firing which you have thought he could have seen coming a mile away.

All of this is based upon second and third-hand information from anonymous sources who say they saw notes of the meetings --- no direct participants spoke either on or off the record. We don't even know if any of them aside from McCabe (whose notes seem to be what some of these people are basing their gossip on) work in the Justice Department.

On the other hand, the Washington Post reports, (NBC confirmed as well) that their sources say the meeting took place but that Rosenstein was being sarcastic responding to McCabe by saying "what do you want me to do Andy, wear a wire?" which sounds a lot more plausible.

Nobody has reported on why Rosenstein would have said he would talk specifically to Kelly and Sessions about the 25th Amendment since Kelly at the time wasn't the Chief of Staff but rather the Director of Homeland Security and both men were known to be loyal Trumpers even if Sessions had recently recused himself.

Let's just say this is a very weird story.

The point of it is obviously to give Trump cause to fire Rosenstein, although I don't know exactly how he can prove anything based upon a "failing New York Times" story. But Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair is reporting that this is former Fox News president and current White House communications director Bill Shine's baby and he is planning to roll out a major "fire Rosenstein" propaganda campaign.

I would guess it's also designed to take some of the pressure off the Kavanaugh confirmation scandal in order to keep the public from bearing down too hard and precipitating a move for him to withdraw the nomination.

I think we all know Trump is likely to fire Sessions and Rosenstein after the midterms no matter what. This might just be more building of the groundwork or they may have decided they need to push it up for other reasons having to do with the investigation. (That Manafort plea has got them reeling.)

Anyway, it looks as though the New York Times is likely being a pawn in their game. Of course it wouldn't be the first time.