Malacandra.me

Warranted by the evidence

Warranted by the evidence

by digby

I don't know why this is coming out now but I'm sure it must mean something:

In an expansive interview with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Mr. Rosenstein offered a forceful defense of the inquiry, saying the public would have faith in its findings.

“People are entitled to be frustrated, I can accept that,” he said, in a nod to attacks on the probe from some conservatives and Republicans. “But at the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence, and that it was an appropriate use of resources.”

Mr. Rosenstein said the investigation has already revealed a widespread effort by Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, an assertion that has been played down by Mr. Trump and repeatedly called into question by other members of the administration.

“I have a solemn responsibility to make sure that cases like that are pursued and prosecuted, and I’m pleased the president has been supportive of that,” Mr. Rosenstein said.

The rare interview, in his conference room on the fourth floor of the Justice Department, took place during a turbulent period for Mr. Rosenstein, whose appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017 has made him the subject of scrutiny and attack by Mr. Trump and his allies in Congress.

Mr. Mueller’s team is examining Russian interference in the 2016 election and any links between those efforts and the Trump campaign. Mr. Trump has denied any collusion with Moscow.

The special counsel’s office has charged more than two dozen Russian nationals over their roles in the 2016 campaign, including a dozen Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking into Democratic Party servers and stealing information that they distributed publicly through fake online personas. Russia has denied it interfered in the election.

“I committed I would ensure the investigation was appropriate and independent and reached the right result, whatever it may be,” Mr. Rosenstein said, referring to comments he made during his confirmation hearing. “I believe I have been faithful to that.”

The low-key Mr. Rosenstein has unexpectedly become the highest-profile deputy attorney general in recent memory after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself in March 2017 from the Russia probe in light of his prominent role in the Trump campaign.

Mr. Sessions’ recusal, widely seen as appropriate in the legal community, damaged the attorney general’s relationship with Mr. Trump and made Mr. Rosenstein the point man on some of the department’s most pressing challenges.

Last month, Mr. Rosenstein’s future as the Justice Department’s No. 2 official seemed in doubt, after officials said he offered to resign—and expected to be fired—following reports that he discussed secretly recording Mr. Trump and recruiting cabinet members to remove him from office in 2017. Mr. Rosenstein has steadfastly denied those allegations.

After a conversation aboard Air Force One last week, Mr. Trump opted not to fire Mr. Rosenstein, a sign that the longtime federal prosecutor has been able to develop a somewhat stable relationship with the president despite the strains of the continuing probe. Still, Mr. Trump is expected to make changes at the Justice Department after next month’s midterm elections, with Mr. Sessions’ departure widely anticipated.

Some GOP lawmakers have sought to call Mr. Rosenstein to testify about whether he did in fact suggest secretly recording the president, but that hasn’t happened. Mr. Rosenstein wouldn’t discuss the alleged episode in the interview, nor would he discuss its effect on his relationship with the president.

“The president knows that I am prepared to do this job as long as he wants me to do this job,” he said. “You serve at the pleasure of the president, and there’s never been any ambiguity about that in my mind.”

As he has been pressed into taking the lead on some of the department’s most contentious issues, Mr. Rosenstein has tried to make progress on an administration agenda that includes aggressive prosecutions of drug offenses, gun crimes and immigration violations. That policy focus has often been overshadowed by the Russia investigation and perpetual questions about his job future.

“I try very hard to ignore media speculation about what we’re doing and focus instead on what we’re actually doing,” Mr. Rosenstein said. “We sit down every day and we work toward the goals of the department and try to ignore the inevitable attention in the media.”
[...]
If a new attorney general takes office after the midterm elections, that individual would likely not be recused, relieving Mr. Rosenstein of the task of supervising the investigation and moving him somewhat out of the spotlight.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rosenstein said he acknowledges his critics but stands by his oversight of the inquiry.

“I believe that our department and our office have been appropriately managing that investigation,” Mr. Rosenstein said.


Rosenstein has been going out of his way to keep Trump happy. He ostentatiously sat behind Kavanaugh at the hearings. He flew with Trump on AF One showing the world a certain "chumminess" with his boss. What is unclear is whether he's managing him or if he's joining him.

Everyone is expecting a flurry of activity agter the midterms from the White House and possibly the Special Prosecutor. It feels as though this lame duck session of congress is also giong to be very turbulent. So fasten your setbelts.