Maybe it’s because the story dropped on a Saturday evening, a time when political news almost never breaks. Maybe it’s because Jeffrey Rosen isn’t (yet) a household name. Or maybe it’s because so many media pundits have spent all year trying to scare up ratings by falsely insisting that the DOJ has decided not to prosecute Donald Trump, and this development goes against that narrative. But for some reason, the Rosen news doesn’t appear to have fully sunk in for everyone, in terms of just how ground-shifting it really is.
Let’s be clear here: the guy who was the Acting Attorney General during the insurrection has decided to formally testify to Congress and the DOJ Inspector General about the election tampering crimes he witnessed Donald Trump committing. Rosen isn’t just some whistleblower; he’s the guy who was recently in charge of the entire Department of Justice.
You can’t come up with a more credible, or influential, or un-ignorable witness than Jeffrey Rosen. And he didn’t just testify to the Senate; he did it in eager fashion. Yes, he waited this long, largely because the DOJ was working out matters of privilege. After all, his testimony to the DOJ Inspector General is what can lead to a federal criminal case, not his testimony to the Senate, and his testimony to the DOJ IG took place awhile ago.
But once Rosen got the all-clear to testify to the Senate, he made a point of doing so in secret on a Saturday, just to make sure that he could get it on the record before Trump’s lawyers could get wind of it and try to get a judge to delay the testimony while nonsensical objections are heard in court. This shows just how badly Rosen wanted to make sure that his testimony happened.
You can view Jeffrey Rosen as a hero who’s coming forward for the sake of justice, or you can view him as a bureaucrat who’s just trying to cover his own backside by ratting out Donald Trump. That’s up to you. But it doesn’t really matter, because either way, he’s the super-witness who just handed a slam dunk federal criminal case against Donald Trump to the Department of Justice.
Let’s be clear about something: the DOJ doesn’t make charging decisions based on any rationale that’s being kicked around on social media, such as “Will Merrick Garland find the guts to do it?” That’s nonsense talk, from people who don’t understand how any of this works. In reality, the DOJ makes its charging decisions based on whether there are overwhelmingly likely odds of conviction at trial. If having Jeffrey Rosen as an inside witness does indeed end up giving the DOJ those odds of conviction, then federal criminal charges against Trump will be brought. It’s that simple – and it’s why Rosen is that big of a deal.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report