Image 01 Image 03

Deputy AG Rosenstein: Will wait to see if Mueller investigation “results” affected by conflicts

Deputy AG Rosenstein: Will wait to see if Mueller investigation “results” affected by conflicts

Since when does DOJ ignore conflicts of interest pending “results”?

Asked by Fox News‘ Martha MacCallum whether he’s bothered by the fact that some of the lawyers hired by special counsel Robert Mueller made donations to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein responded:

“At the Department of Justice, we judge by results, and so, my view about that is, we’ll see if they do the right thing.”

Today’s Morning Joe aired a clip from the Rosenstein interview, prefacing it with a quote from the New York Times of the Justice Department’s rules against conflicts that prohibit prosecutors from participating in investigations if they have a “personal or political relationship” with the subject of the case. According to the Times, making political donations is not included on the list of things that would create a political relationship.

Rosenstein’s statement is palpably incorrect. It’s clear that the Justice Department does not just judge “by results.” There are stated rules, including the prohibition on participating in prosecutions by people who have a political relationship with a subject of the case.

The Times claims that political donations do not constitute a political relationship for such purposes. It’s not clear what the Times relies on for such a conclusion. Justice Department guidelines do, as a general matter, permit employees to contribute to political campaigns.

But in the specific situation at hand, you have people who contributed to Hillary’s campaign, and in one case, served as a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation, investigating whether anything illegal was done to defeat Hillary.

It is astonishing that such apparent partisan sentiment in Hillary’s favor does not seem to bother Rosenstein. Would he similarly be okay with the head of a hypothetical investigation into Hillary’s dealings appointing, say, Sheldon Adelson as an adviser?

JOHN HEILEMANN: According to the Times, Justice Department rules are that prosecutors may not participate in investigations if they have a personal or political relationship with the subject of the case. However, something like a campaign donation is not included on the list of things that would create a political relationship.

. . .
HEILEMANN: On Wednesday the deputy attorney general was asked to address some of these issues.

MARTHA MACCALLUM: Some of the attorneys that he has hired, that several of them have made donations to Hillary Clinton, to the Clinton campaign. Does that bother you? Does it make you believe that those people have any reason to be questioned in terms of their impartiality in this investigation?

ROD ROSENSTEIN: No. At the Department of Justice, we judge by results, and so, my view about that is, we’ll see if they do the right thing.

Note: This morning, Fox & Friends discussed with Kellyanne Conway the issue of the conflicts of interest among members of the Mueller team created by their donations to Hillary and the service of one member as a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation.

In the course of the discussion, co-host Ainsley Earhardt cited our Professor Jacobson’s article of this morning, “Mueller found the man (Trump), now he’ll find the crime.”

STEVE DOOCY: Kellyanne, when you do look—and this is the subject of a great big story in the New York Times this morning—when you do look at the legal team that Mr. Mueller has put together, there are all these conflicts. Not only did these Democrat, presumably, lawyers donate a lot of money to the left side of the political aisle, but one of them actually was a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation. And that you look at the fact that —

KELLYANNE CONWAY: The nine FOIA requests . . . You said a disinfectant. Let’s at least let the transparency and the accountability speak for itself. It’s relevant that people know what the motivations are. And that is not an attack on the team. That is, what’s fair is fair. And people should realize — if they look up and say, wow, I want to know about job creation.

. . .

AINSLEY EARHARDT: Look at this headline. This is Legal insurrection this morning. It says, “Mueller found the man (Trump), now he’ll find the crime.”

CONWAY: That’s often what people don’t like about these circuitous, uncertain processes.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Wow. McCullum should have followed by asking to define the standard for when “conflicts of interest” become an issue? So long as Mueller and his Clinton-tainted team refrain from pursuing the preponderance of incriminating evidence already revealed, he’ll be okay?

I have completely abandoned my theory that maybe Mueller, being an insider who knows how the crooked machine works, was planning to root out the corruption from deep inside. That is obvious NOT the case. This guy, and his entire team, are as dirty as it gets.

Based on his statement Rosenstein doesn’t follow the law. He should be fired. How would he know how the result was achieved if the investigators have a vested interest in an outcome? This statement damns him as either incompetent or highly biased. The more incompetent Jeff Sessions needs to resign since he can’t administer his subordinates. Where is the Republican Party? Should n’t someone defend the President.

Actually, we have no idea what Mueller is up to, or exactly what job Rosenstein gave him. All we have so far is speculation from the Press. And what the Press wants to see is something—anything—which might cause difficulty, or even mere annoyance, for the President. So that’s what’s reported … even if it’s just Fake News™.

“At the Department of Justice, we judge by results, and so, my view about that is, we’ll see if they do the right thing,” is a total non-statement—a fancy way of saying, “No comment.” So, obviously, Rosenstein isn’t willing to specify what Mueller is up to. At least not yet.

I’m starting to suspect that somebody is working on a big surprise.

    clintack in reply to tom swift. | July 21, 2017 at 10:57 am


    How do we keep falling for this? We *know* the press is out to get Trump and divide us. The Washington Post runs an article in which they almost literally say, “Our anonymous sources were totally wrong for the last six months, but we promise our new anonymous sources saying exactly the same thing are right this time!” and suddenly we’re screaming for the heads of Mueller and Rosenstein. (And now Sessions.)

    I can only imagine the giggling glee of the political left as Trump supporters scream for him to fire two of the only three Trump nominees currently serving in the Justice Department.

    Rick in reply to tom swift. | July 21, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    This is how our legal system works, dontcha know? That’s why we leave biased jurors on juries, to see if their biases impact the verdicts.

I would like Rosemstein to define “the right thing.”

Waitaminnit. Sessions “had to,” per DOJ advice, recuse himself because of baseless accusations ginned up by political sociopaths, and now we have a different set of rules for Mueller’s team?

No. Just no.

(I’m into equal protection under the laws.)

“Mirroring” your question might be an effective tool, particularly when the question recepient begins to writhe in expectation of the follow-up question.

“So if the AG had appointed a close friend of Donald Trump to the IC position, somebody with thousands of dollars of political contributions to him and who hired a number of other Trump contributors, would you see that as a conflict of interest?”

Yeah, you can see the follow-up.

    Mark Finkelstein in reply to georgfelis. | July 21, 2017 at 10:56 am

    GMTA. From the article:

    “Would [Rosenstein] similarly be okay with the head of a hypothetical investigation into Hillary’s dealings appointing, say, Sheldon Adelson as an adviser?”

      That’s a weaker shot with two degrees of separation, and allows the questioner to divert.

      “What a silly question. Hillary did nothing wrong. She’s been cleared of all charges (unspoken: by the Obama administration). You just want to accuse her in order to draw attention away from the criminal acts of DJT, etc….”

ROD ROSENSTEIN: No. At the Department of Justice, we judge by results, and so, my view about that is, we’ll see if they do the right thing.
That’s the problem. What if they don’t do the right thing. Damage done. Report is out. A bigger mess.

Why is anyone bothering to look at the lawyers assembled. The main conflict is that Mueller has a personal relationship with one of the witnesses!

This is a witch hunt of the highest order and everyone is in on it, including the GOP!

    MJN1957 in reply to Merlin01. | July 21, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    A witness that intentionally manipulated the situation for a self-/pre-determined specific result…THAT HE GOT!

    So, are we now seeing a manipulation of the situation to get a pre-determined “right thing” result?

    Methinks the chances are high.

The events leading up to the naming of Mueller as Special Council has always intrigued me.

The Trump/Russia investigation was going along just fine. No collusion had been uncovered in the eight months of the FBI investigation. Flynn’s phone call and Manifort’s contacts were easily explained away as innocent. And, in fact, the leaking of the Flynn information was an obvious violation of the law. It was obvious that Comey was not fired because the Russia investigation was getting close to Trump or any close associates. We knew that from the information and accusations being leaked. Comey was fired because he was unwilling to find and identify the leakers of classified information. It was the LEAKS, not the RUSSIANS. Trump was being nibbled to death by ducks [leaks = both accurate and manufactured].

So, the first thing that Jeff Sessions does, when he becomes AG, is to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. This, in itself is incredible, and serves no legitimate purpose for his office. In the first place, the oversight for this investigation would be an Assistant Attorney general, not the AG. So, while Session would be getting periodic updates, he would not be in close contact with the investigators. Then, Rosenstein is brought in. He almost immediately builds a compelling case for the termination of James Comey as Director of the FBI, largely based upon clear evidence of, at best, incompetence. The President acts upon this advice and terminates Comey. Comey claims that he was fired to influence the Russia investigation. To prove this, he leaks manufactured, unverified memoranda purportedly of conversations which he held with the President. The reaction to this, by the DOJ under Rosenstein, is to appoint Mueller, a man known to be a close personal friend of James Comey as well as having known ties to the Clintons, as the Special Council to investigate the Trump/Russia collusion. And, Mueller staffs his office with a huge gaggle of lawyers, all of whom are supporters of the Democrat party and, in some cases, active supporters of Hillary Clinton. Then, Mueller reportedly chooses to ignore all the investigative data generated by the FBI during their year long investigation in favor of investigating the sale of property by a real estate magnate, Trump, to a rich Russian. This all sounds like the script for a made for TV political thriller, not real life.

So, to recap. Sessions takes a walk on his responsibility to oversee federal criminal investigations with respect to Russians interfering in US elections. Rosenstein gets Comey fired and then essentially places a Comey clone, in the person of his close friend Mueller, back in charge of the Trump/Russia investigation. Sessions can now claim that he was in the john while this investigation was all going on. And, it is now impossible for Mueller to be relieved, as this WOULD lend credence to the charge that the Trump administration had something to hide, with regard to Russian collusion.

The handling of this issue, except for Session’s personal duck and cover, is either an orchestrated attempt to continue to undermine the Trump Administration from within the DOJ or the best example of incompetence the world has ever seen. Either way, Trump gets screwed. And, from his recent statements, it appears that Trump is beginning to realize that he can not depend upon anyone with ties to the Establishment in this country.

Since Trump, and Americans, had the audacity to challenge the establishment.

OleDirtyBarrister | July 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Rosenstein was a terrible choice for Deputy AG. He is a coward and thin skinned, and the moment he heard in name and thought he was getting pressed, his knees shook and he took action to cover his arse and try to protect his reputation. Appointing SC in the first instance was a bad move, and appointing Mueller despite his relationship to Comey and Rosenstein’s role in Comey’s termination was worse, and sitting back and allowing Mueller to use Clintonistas to carry the water for Team Hillary and DNC is even dumber.

inspectorudy | July 21, 2017 at 3:35 pm

“ROD ROSENSTEIN: No. At the Department of Justice, we judge by results, and so, my view about that is, we’ll see if they do the right thing.”

So he is going to wait until the investigation is complete before there is any inquiry as to its fairness? We all know the results of the investigation will be leaked before Rosenstein reads it and the msm will tout it as the “Truth”. It will be far too late to say it was biased or slanted against Trump. If I was Rosenstein I would throw the gauntlet down and tell Mueller that if the report leaked out before he gets to read it, he would prosecute Mueller!

bottom line – who watches the watchers

I’m opposed to all special prosecutors, they always get used as a lengthy & expensive fishing expedition for the opposition party for any dirt on the target or his associates. Rosenstein should be fired. He’s a snake in the grass.