Were you confused yesterday? I was. Initial reports in the morning said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was on his way to the White House to submit his resignation after The New York Times reported that he discussed wearing a wire tape to record Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
Then, reports said Chief of Staff John Kelly wouldn’t accept his resignation, or he did, but Rosenstein refused to allow him to accept it, and that he’d only turn it over to Trump. That’s weird because Trump was in New York City for the United Nation’s General Assembly. Rosenstein knew that.
Later reports said that Rosenstein refused to allow himself to be fired unless it was face-to-face from Trump.
Rosenstein expected to be fired on Monday and the Justice Department was drafting a statement about who would succeed him. Rosenstein is overseeing the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation. Trump has barked for months about how the Justice Department, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Rosenstein have failed to defend him. In NYC, Trump said Rosenstein, who he has referred to as “Mr. Peepers,” wasn’t his guy, and he wasn’t involved in his hiring, though he had to approve it. As it stands now, Trump and Rosenstein will be meeting this Thursday.
I don’t expect Rosenstein to be fired this week. Firing him could lead to obstruction of justice charges (on top of the others that may be forthcoming). I do expect there to be firings after the midterms, which Trump and Republicans have been telegraphing, winking, nudging, and nodding about for months.
They’re afraid if there’s a Trumpian version of Nixon’s Saturday night massacre before the midterms, it will hurt them with voters. So, let’s just tell the voters we’ll do it after Election Day? Are they that stupid? Yes. The Trump White House is that stupid. They still haven’t found the “anonymous” guy who wrote The New York Times Op-Ed about what a dangerous and stupid little man Trump is. This is the same White House staffed with people who willingly committed career suicide by working for this White House.
This entire episode has given us another example of the new normal which most people have overlooked because we’re getting used to it. No, not Trump’s latest tweet where we excuse him for confusing “acquisition” for “accusation.” They’re big words. Give him a few minutes.
No. The new normal is The Deputy Attorney General having to deny he discussed wearing a wire to record Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment. That wouldn’t be a story for other administrations unless it was in the Weekly World News or the National Enquirer, and it wouldn’t even be acknowledged like they never had to deny “First Lady adopts three-headed space alien baby.”
But, this White House has to deny it because it’s logical and believable. If a story came out about Trump catching gonorrhea from a skanky badger, this White House would have to deny it. What I don’t find believable is that nobody in this administration has discussed invoking the 25th.
Did Rosenstein talk about wearing a wire? I think so but I doubt he seriously intended himself to be the covert operative. That would have made him a witness in an investigation he’s overseeing. Did he talk about the 25th? Sure, but he doesn’t have any say in that. That’s for cabinet members to deliberate, unless Rosenstein believes he can pull some strings.
I will be surprised if there’s not a massive bloodletting the day after the midterms. It’s going to be like an average Wednesday at a Gatehouse newspaper (people in my industry will get that reference). In fact, doing it the day after will be a good way for Trump to change the subject from the GOP’s massive defeat from the Blue Wave.
Of course, another distraction would be that skanky badger story.
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