Shortly after Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last year, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed invoking the 25th Amendment against Trump, and offered to wear a wire during his meetings with Trump, according to a breaking New York Times report. Sorry, but this doesn’t add up – not even close – and the timing strongly suggests that this is merely the latest of Team Trump’s disinformation antics.
Back when Trump fired Comey, Rod Rosenstein had only been on the job for a very brief time. His response was to hire Special Counsel Robert Mueller to take over the Trump-Russia investigation. It was a bold move, but it was strictly by the book. Rosenstein’s first big move was literally to hand off the probe to someone else. This does not at all fit with this sudden claim that Rosenstein was acting like a cross between the Lone Ranger and James Bond. But the timing here is was really stands out.
Days ago, Donald Trump ordered the public release of several classified Trump-Russia documents. It would not only have sabotaged the investigation, it could have put U.S. intel community personnel and/or assets in danger. Who would have had to make the ultimate decision on whether to follow or refuse this order? Rod Rosenstein. After days of backlash, Donald Trump backed down from this stunt on Twitter this morning. Now, just hours later, a story surfaces which is clearly aimed at sabotaging Rod Rosenstein’s reputation by painting him as out of control.
In hindsight it’s fairly clear that Donald Trump gave the declassification order in the hope that Rod Rosenstein would refuse to carry it out, so he could fire him. As soon as that strategy failed, Team Trump moved on to this new strategy of leaking these bizarre claims about Rosenstein. Nothing about this story rings true – including the fact that Rosenstein isn’t a cabinet member. So why would he supposedly have been talking about invoking the 25th Amendment? Update: the Washington post is already calling bullshit on the New York Times story.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report