Up to now, the best that anyone understood the story of former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was that he spent a long time trying to do the right thing when it came to Donald Trump, but eventually caved to Trump’s bullying in the end. Now, however, new court filings reveal that Rosenstein was without question a villain all along – and that he was going out of his way to sabotage his own appointee Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI all along.
We all saw Rod Rosenstein very publicly and cartoonishly transform into a Donald Trump cheerleader near the end of his DOJ tenure, in what was perceived as an attempt at convincing Trump not to take his pension away. This made sense, as Trump had already retaliated against other DOJ figures like former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe by taking his pension away. But now it turns out Rosenstein was playing games on Trump’s behalf, behind the scenes, dating back to 2017.
The new court filings reveal that it was Rod Rosenstein who leaked text messages from FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page to the media in late 2017. Donald Trump seized on this opportunity by making up conspiracy theories about Strzok and Page, and by extension conspiracy theories about their boss at the time, Robert Mueller. Trump was eventually able to force Strzok and Page out of the FBI (though they’re both pursuing legal action over it). Trump was also able, via Bill Barr, to force a premature and stunted end to Mueller’s probe.
Rod Rosenstein’s decision to leak the Page-Strzok text messages can be seen as having played at least some role in the ultimate demise of the Mueller probe, which had initially been shot out of the gate like a cannon, but ultimately ended with a whimper. If Rosenstein was pulling stunts to sabotage Mueller dating back to 2017, it means that Rosenstein was trying to sabotage Mueller’s probe all along. At this point you have to wonder if Rosenstein will face obstruction of justice charges once Trump is gone.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report