One of the ongoing sagas in the conduct of the Russia probe by Department of Justice, in general, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in particular, has been the adamant refusal of Rosenstein and Justice to cooperate in any but the most grudging way with Congressional committees who have direct oversight responsibility in regards to Justice. Four times now–the last being the fight over the classification of the report by the House Intelligence Committee–Rosenstein has turned a routine action into a battle. And four times he’s had his ass handed to him in a very public way. It’s obvious that Rosenstein is neither learning from his mistakes nor is he taking it well. Last week he accused the Freedom Caucus of “extortion.”
Now we’re up to number five.
Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy have asked to see the charter, for lack of a better word, that Rosenstein has given Mueller to guide his investigation. Incredibly. Rosenstein has refused to do so. Nunes sent a subpoena and instead of documents, he got a FOAD letter from Justice. On Sunday, Nunes said he intended to start contempt proceedings against Jeff Sessions. I suspect Sessions is not eager to get caught up in this and Rosenstein’s behavior has been noted by the White House.
A Rigged System – They don’t want to turn over Documents to Congress. What are they afraid of? Why so much redacting? Why such unequal “justice?” At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2018
Nunes won’t have to make good on his threat because Rosenstein has been rolled again.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy have been invited to the Justice Department Thursday for a classified briefing about Nunes’ latest requests for classified information related to the Russia investigation, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Fox News has learned this is a direct result of a meeting at the White House on Tuesday between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, his deputy Ed O’Callahan and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Rosenstein had been on official travel in New York but raced back to Washington for the meeting.
A source familiar with the situation tells Fox News that after the meeting the three held a speakerphone call with Nunes and Gowdy and told the lawmakers the DOJ would work with them in an effort to get them the information they have been seeking.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out Rosenstein’s game here. He picks these fights, ostensibly to protect DOJ prerogatives, and then he loses the fights because the White House doesn’t support him and, it is becoming very clear, Sessions doesn’t support him. This doesn’t make him look like a fighter. It makes him look like a patsy being set up by the bureaucracy, and a loser, and not terribly bright in the bargain.
This strategy of relegating Rosenstein to irrelevance and showing the DOJ bureaucracy that he doesn’t have the clout to protect them might end up being a better strategy than simply firing Rosenstein. In the end, he’ll resign and be remembered as a putz who couldn’t handle the job rather than as a martyr.