For a long time, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein talked a good game during his public appearances. As he was overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation, Rosenstein used his every public appearance to talk up the rule of law, and try to convince everyone that he was protecting democracy. Then he completely sold America out to the greater glory of Donald Trump. Now Rosenstein is going to have to answer for it.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff used a televised interview today to announce that he’s going to subpoena Rod Rosenstein to testify about his handling of the Mueller probe. That means Rosenstein will have to explain why he helped Attorney General William Barr release a fictional “summary” of the Mueller report, and why Rosenstein then publicly praised Trump while dishonestly attacking the media in a bizarre interview.
Actually, Rosenstein has a choice. He can illegally defy the subpoena, which means he’ll be held in contempt of Congress, and he’ll face crippling financial penalties along with whatever else gets dished out against him – along with perhaps an eventual criminal referral for the role that he played in the illegal firing of James Comey. Or Rosenstein can show up and testify about Donald Trump, in which case he’ll have to face whatever illegal punishment Trump decides to dish out against him in return.
In any case, Rod Rosenstein is having a bad day. One way or the other, it’s his time in the proverbial barrel. He’ll have to decide which side he’s more afraid of, and make his decision accordingly. Either way, Rosenstein loses. Based on the shady manner in which he ultimately conducted himself, he deserves this to go poorly for him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report