On Monday evening, as reports were rolling in about the FBI raid on the offices of Trump personal attorney (and village idiot in lawyerville) Michael Cohen, we reminded you that this is likely to reignite tensions between Trump and Rod Rosenstein (that’s assuming they ever died down in the first place).
As The Washington Post recounts, under DoJ regulations, Mueller “is required to consult with Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein if his team finds information worth investigating that does not fall under his mandate.” It’s then left to Rosenstein (who Trump threw under the bus following the Nunes memo boondoggle earlier this year) to determine “whether to expand Mueller’s mandate to include the new topic or to refer it to a U.S. attorney’s office.”
Recall this clip from February 2 when “#memogate” was still a thing:
So that was Trump telling reporters that they’d “figure that one out” when asked whether he still had confidence in his deputy AG.
Remember that implicated in Devin Nunes’s memo were all the people you’d expect to be implicated given what it is Trump’s trying to do. In fact, it almost seems like he could have sent Nunes a list of people who he wanted named because there was Comey, McCabe, Yates, and Rosenstein.
Only one of those people hasn’t yet been fired or otherwise forced out and that person is Rosenstein who just happens to be overseeing the Mueller probe. Imagine that.
On Monday evening, following the Cohen news, Trump once again threw Jeff Sessions under the bus for recusing himself before lashing out at the probe itself:
President Trump responds to question about firing special counsel Robert Mueller.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 9, 2018
Well with all of that in mind, consider the following just out from The New York Times:
Rod J. Rosenstein, the veteran Republican prosecutor handpicked by President Trump to serve as deputy attorney general, personally signed off on Monday’s F.B.I. decision to raid the office of Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney and longtime confidant, three government officials said.
The early-morning searches enraged Mr. Trump, associates said, setting off an angry public tirade Monday evening that continued in private at the White House as the president fumed about whether he should fire Mr. Rosenstein. The episode has deeply unsettled White House aides, Justice Department officials and lawmakers from both parties, who believe the president may use it as a pretext to purge the team leading the investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 election.
Obviously, Trump is disgusted with Rosenstein and do note that just before John Dowd resigned, he told the Daily Beast that he “prayed” Rosenstein would shut down the Mueller probe.
Additionally, do recall that Trump thought about getting rid of Rosenstein last summer only to try and fire Mueller instead, leading Don McGahn to tell Trump he’d sooner quit than see that through. McGahn is rumored to be on his way out as well.
So what’s the “plan” now? For the time being, everyone is just trying to keep this crazy bastard from flying off the handle. Here’s the Times again:
Mr. Trump’s advisers have spent the last 24 hours trying to convince the president not to make an impulsive decision that could put the president in more legal jeopardy and ignite a controversy that could consume his presidency, several people close to Mr. Trump said.
How’s that going? Oh, right…
A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 10, 2018
Finally, don’t forget that all of the people who Trump swears are plotting against him unjustifiably are Republicans.
The involvement of Mr. Rosenstein and top prosecutors in New York in the raid of Mr. Cohen’s office makes it harder for Mr. Trump to argue that his legal problems are the result of a witch hunt led by Mr. Mueller. In addition to Mr. Rosenstein, all of the top law enforcement officials involved in the raid are Republicans: Mr. Mueller, Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. Director, and Geoffrey Berman, the interim United States attorney in New York.
Trump’s full Monday evening rant: