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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein pauses while speaking at the federal inspector general community’s 21st annual awards ceremony, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

 

This afternoon, it was reported that former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be the first witness to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.

I’ve never understood why Rosenstein, who has played such a pivotal role in the investigation of President Trump, has received so little scrutiny. Although he projects the persona of a boy scout, he is one of the vipers slithering through the muck of the Washington swamp. In March 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the disastrous decision to recuse himself from the Trump/Russia collusion case because he had met twice during the 2016 presidential campaign with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. This remarkably poor choice, which left Rosenstein in charge of the FBI’s investigation, changed the course of history.

We all know Rosenstein is the man who appointed Robert Mueller in May 2017 to investigate allegations that President Trump may have colluded with the Russians to win the presidency and may have obstructed justice. We also know he wrote the memo which outlined the reasons why FBI Director James Comey should be fired. After Trump fired Comey and this memo became public, The New York Times reported that Rosenstein had been “anguished.” And, yes, The Times reported that he’d offered to wear a wire into the White House to record President Trump.

We’ve known all those things and more. But it was in February, while watching Dan Bongino’s podcast, that I learned something truly stunning. Rosenstein had met with FBI agents on April 28, 2017, and then again on May 23, 2017. The FBI 302s (summary written by an FBI agent following an interview) from those briefings had just been declassified and they revealed a bombshell.

The FBI told Rosenstein that President Trump was NOT a suspect.

Bongino began with a hat tip to the well-known (but anonymous) lawyer who posts on Twitter as Techno Fog for this “tactical nuke.”

It’s been clear for a long time that the FBI and Robert Mueller knew early on that President Trump had done nothing wrong.

For example, we know that after the FBI’s January 2017 interview with dossier author Christopher Steele’s primary sub-source, they had a pretty good idea it was all a lie. The FBI interviewed the sub-source two additional times, in March and in May 2017, and by then, they were sure of it.

We also learned from the testimony of former FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, that in May 2017, when the FBI turned their counterintelligence investigation over to Robert Mueller, they still had no evidence that Trump had colluded with the Russians to win the election. The FBI had been investigating Trump for ten months at that point.

Until now, we’ve never seen any of those involved actually admit it.

In the following excerpts from an FBI 302 report, it is made clear three times that the FBI did not believe President Trump was a suspect. (Source of information: The Dan Bongino Show, Episode 1191, February 27, 2020)

1. FBI agents confirmed to [acting Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein on May 10, 2017 that the President was not a suspect.

2. This was also Rosenstein’s impression from his initial April 28 briefing he received from then Director Comey.

3. Rosenstein elaborated that based on his May 10 briefing, “there appeared to be no evidence the President was involved personally.”

FD-302 (excerpt): FBI Interview of Rod Rosenstein: May 23, 2017 (emphasis mine)

Events of May 10, 2017

Rosenstein first contacted Robert Mueller on May 10 at 7:34 am, but “of course” he was thinking about the issue of appointing a special counsel before that time.

Then, at 11:30 am, Rosenstein attended a previously scheduled meeting with the prosecutors assigned to the FBI’s Russia investigation. This was the first regularly scheduled meeting on the matter. During this first meeting, and in light of all the controversy surrounding the investigation, Rosenstein declared, “In my acting capacity as the Attorney General, leave no stone unturned” or words to that effect. However, those assigned to the case are career prosecutors, so in his personal opinion, telling them to do so was unnecessary because he knew they would do the right thing.

During his May 10 briefing, the team confirmed for Rosenstein that the President was not a suspect. This was also Rosenstein’s impression from his initial April 28 briefing he received from then Director Comey. Carl Ghattas may have attended this briefing, as well as several prosecutors.

Rosenstein elaborated that based on his May 10 briefing, “there appeared to be no evidence the President was involved personally.”Rosenstein inquired whether they needed additional resources, and was informed there was no such need.

Any reasonable person would assume that would have been the end of the Trump/Russia collusion story. But it wasn’t.

So why did Rosenstein appoint a special counsel to investigate President Trump, a man he knew was innocent?

Bongino’s Analysis:

Do you understand the tactical nuke this is? Rosenstein knows, he’s been briefed by the FBI as early as April, that this case is total garbage and that President Trump is not a suspect in this thing, and they refuse to clear him. Why?

Because the Mueller probe has one purpose…To nail Donald Trump.

On May 10, Mueller is appointed to investigate Trump for a scandal that doesn’t exist.

It was always an effort to accumulate enough political damage on Donald Trump to hopefully impeach him, to get him out of office before this thing resulted in some denouement at the end.

Now you have it nailed down. Rosenstein knew what Mueller was going to do. That’s why he appointed Andy Weissmann. Andy Weissmann having a reputation for, at best, shady legal tactics. They appointed him knowing he’d keep this case open and knowing Trump wasn’t a suspect the entire time.

He ends the segment asking, “What else do you need to hear?”

I believe this is the single most extraordinary revelation we’ve heard in the last three years.

This is why the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chose to call Rosenstein to testify first. Rosenstein knew President Trump was not a suspect, but he still went ahead and appointed a Special Counsel to investigate him. He needs to explain why he did that, under oath.

Next Wednesday, June 3. 10 am. Be there!

(Relevant portion starts at 7:30.)

Elizabeth Vaughn
Writer at RedState
MBA, former financial consultant, options trader
Mom of three grown children, grandmother
Email Elizabeth at [email protected]

 
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