What Rod Rosenstein was really trying to tell us today about William Barr and Donald Trump

For the past year and a half, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has been the Department of Justice point man on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Now that Donald Trump’s new Attorney General William Barr has taken office, it’s led to a lot of questions about whether Barr can be trusted. It turns out Rosenstein had some things to say about that today.

Rod Rosenstein spoke during an event today that had nothing to do with the Trump-Russia investigation, but he ended up being asked whether he thinks William Barr will do the right thing by allowing Robert Mueller’s report to become public. Rosenstein said this: “I think Attorney General Barr is going to make the right decision … We can trust him to do that. He has a lot of experience with this … I think we can count on him to do the right thing.”

Okay, so maybe you’re feeling skeptical here. Rosenstein is talking about his new boss, after all, so it’s not as if he can just publicly yell “I hate the corrupt prick!” But here’s the thing: Rosenstein is quitting anyway. The media keeps reporting that he’s preparing to resign as soon as next month. He’s previously pushed back on this, stating that he’ll stick around until Mueller is finished.

But either way, Rod Rosenstein is a guy who’s on his way out. If he had good reason to warn us about Barr, today would have been the ideal opportunity to slip it in there somehow, and he definitely didn’t do it. So it sounds like Rosenstein thinks Barr is going to follow the law instead of following Trump’s wishes. In any case, one way or the other, Mueller’s report will become public; there is simply no way Barr can succeed in burying it.

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