Friday, December 15, 2017

Bezos Post Accuses Rosenstein of Disloyalty to the Deep State Cause


WaPo |  On display at the House Judiciary Committee hearing this week was the ham-handed, unsightly spectacle of Republican lawmakers trying to discredit the special prosecutor and the FBI in order to provide the president with a fig leaf, presumably one he’ll use at some point to fire Robert S. Mueller. As a Democratic adviser put it, we witnessed a “shameless and irresponsible ploy to cover for the president and cast doubt on Mr. Mueller.” The immediate tool was the text messages sent by one FBI agent, Peter Strzok, to another, Lisa Page, which Republicans used, as the source put it, to distract from “the direct threat that President Trump poses to the Department of Justice and our democratic institutions.”

In this Republicans had an enabler in the person of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. Eli Lake reported:
Both Strzok, an FBI counter-intelligence agent, and Page, an FBI lawyer, were involved in the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and were both briefly on Mueller’s team investigating Russia’s influence of the 2016 election. In the texts from 2015 and 2016, they complained about the Republican presidential nominee’s intelligence and demeanor (including in unprintable terms). In July, those private texts came to the attention of the Justice Department’s inspector general. The FBI reassigned Strzok to human resources, while Page left the special counsel’s probe.
The inspector general’s investigation is ongoing. Perhaps more evidence will emerge that the privately held opinions of two investigators contributed to then-FBI director James Comey’s decision in July 2016 not to charge Clinton with a crime. (That was when the Republicans said the FBI was pro-Clinton. Before Comey called the finality of that inquiry into question just days before the 2016 election and the Democrats said the FBI was anti-Clinton.) Until charges are pressed and evidence is considered, however, Page and Strzok are owed some due process.
But in this case, Rosenstein threw them under the bus, disclosing their private texts to Congress and the media. It’s rare to see such an aggressive act of betrayal by a political appointee on members of his own department, for the sole reason (apparently) to curry favor with the party of the president who appointed him.