The national news media went wild on Monday morning, reporting that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was on his way to the White House to meet with Chief of Staff John Kelly to either resign or be fired. The drama unfolded over a New York Times story leaked late Friday afternoon which had Rosenstein, the man in charge of the illicit Robert Mueller Special Counsel investigation against Trump, arguing that the 25th Amendment should be invoked to remove Trump from office, and offering to wear a wire to gather dirt on the President. The meetings in which these statements were made occurred shortly after the May, 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey by the President. While it is a very short distance from the Justice Department, on Pennsylvania Avenue, to the White House, media reports about Rosenstein being on his way to a dramatic confrontation lasted for some hours. Finally, White House Press Secretary Sara Sanders read an official statement, saying that, “At the request of the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories. Because the President is at the United Nations General Assembly and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington, D.C.” This did not prevent Democrats from going wild and declaring that Trump was engaged in a “slow moving” Saturday night massacre like President Richard Nixon’s firings of DOJ officials.
In comments to the press after his meeting with President Moon of South Korea in New York, President Trump stressed that he had spoken with “Rod” Monday and that he would be meeting with him on Thursday and that he, Donald Trump, wanted to have “complete transparency” about the matter.
There are several overlapping dynamics at work here:
1. It is clear that Rosenstein attended a meeting of top FBI and DOJ officials in March of 2017 in which invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office and wearing wires to set the President up was discussed. The Times story asserts that Rosenstein advocated this course of action. Rosenstein denies this. His denial, however, really does not matter because he never reported these treasonous conversations, acting instead, in the wake of the firing FBI Director James Comey by Donald Trump, to appoint Robert Mueller to conduct an unprecedented and ultra vires counterintelligence investigation of the President of the United States. As Alan Dershowitz has repeatedly pointed out in the last 24 hours, invoking the 25th Amendment in these circumstances amounts to declaring a coup d’etat in the United States. Nothing less is implicated by the New York Times story. According to several reports, Rosenstein concluded after the New York Times story came out, that he could not testify to Congress about these meetings and keep his job, offering his resignation on Friday. There is now a widespread recognition that there is an ongoing coup against the President which threatens the governability of the United States itself. Senator Lindsay Graham, speaking on multiple media channels Sunday, called it a “bureaucratic coup d’etat.” Many Republican stalwarts and the President’s attorneys also recognize that Robert Mueller is a legal assassin, not the embodiment of legal rectitude as portrayed by Washington D.C.’s best PR shops.
2. The British are screaming about Trump’s September 17th declassification order regarding several foundational documents central to the coup and exposing the British hand in the matter. Trump’s declassification order came in the week when George Papadopoulos began talking about the CIA and British efforts to entrap him and fabricate evidence against the Trump campaign, efforts which provided the pretext for the FBI’s unprecedented and completely unfounded counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign. Rosenstein went to the White House on Friday of last week to urge the President to hold off from immediate declassification based on objections from Britain and Australia. The President agreed to have Michael Horowitz, the Department of Justice Inspector General, review the documents but stated that he expected that review to be expedited and that speed was very important to him. In an interview on WMAL radio Monday morning, former Washington D.C. U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova said, “”The UK is at the center of a conspiracy to frame Donald Trump and Carter Page, and George Papadopoulos. This is all about Mifsud, and protecting Halper, and Alexander Downer. Downer is a big fish. And all of the work that all of them did with GCHQ…. This is a huge, huge problem for the UK. They may ultimately say, `Look, you can talk about Steele, but please don’t talk about Alexander Downer.” They are very worried about the role that Downer played in this.” Pat Buchanan noted yesterday that the integrity of the American republic is far more important than the embarrassment of the British in this affair. Buchanan cited a Wall Street Journal piece to the same effect.
3. There is a sitting grand jury in Washington D.C. which has begun to hear evidence about the crimes implicit in the coup against Donald Trump. The initial focus is on former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe who is under investigation for lying about media leaks. McCabe’s memos are the source of the New York Times leak about Rosenstein’s perfidies. It is clear that McCabe is intent on bringing down his co-conspirators and those he thinks hung him out to dry in order to save himself.
The remedies lie, as Alan Dershowitz has said, in getting everyone involved in the March, 2017 meetings involving Rosenstein, under oath about what happened there, and doing so, in whatever forum, urgently and quickly. The American public needs to know this now, and urgently. The President is right. This needs to be completely transparent. In addition, the documents the President ordered released on September 17th must be released now and the British government should be forced to detail its role in the coup and the reasons for its extraordinary actions and everyone involved in them. That is the only basis for assessing any relationship the British will have in the future with the United States.