Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has come out to bat for his boss Attorney General William Barr, who has faced criticism from people that he’s trying to mislead people on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

One thing that has annoyed me for awhile is the fact that people have called the four page summary “Barr’s summary” when Rosenstein helped draft it.

The Democrats are dying to get their hands on the Mueller report, especially since the summary released by Barr and Rosenstein crushed their dream that President Donald Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia to beat failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Rosenstein told The Wall Street Journal:

“He’s being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think is just completely bizarre,” Mr. Rosenstein said.

“It would be one thing if you put out a letter and said, ‘I’m not going to give you the report,’ ” Mr. Rosenstein said. “What he said is, ‘Look, it’s going to take a while to process the report. In the meantime, people really want to know what’s in it. I’m going to give you the top-line conclusions.’ That’s all he was trying to do.”

Barr told Congress that he will release the report “within a week” because the DOJ has to redact certain information in it.

Democrats have scoffed at this action, but I pointed out earlier this week that a court ruled that officials have to redact grand jury information. That “Rule 6(e) does not contain an exception to secrecy that would permit disclosure to Congress.” So Congress may demand an unredacted version, but this ruling means they have no entitlements to it.

Once again, like the summary, Democrats have squared their attention entirely on Barr. Rosenstein, advisors, and even a member of Mueller’s team, along with Barr, continue to scour the Mueller report “for material related to intelligence sources, continuing investigations, grand-jury matters and the privacy of individuals not charged with crimes.”

Rosenstein’s interview with The Wall Street Journal “came one day after Mr. Barr said he would form a team to examine the origins of a 2016 counterintelligence investigation that conducted what he termed as ‘spying’ on people associated with the Trump campaign, a characterization Democrats and some former Justice Department officials, including fired Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, found disturbing.”

The deputy attorney general would not comment on that situation, but stated that he “generally that he is open to objective scrutiny and stands by his approval of the renewal.”

Rosenstein has had a rocky relationship with Trump, but he has no regrets about his time at the DOJ. This includes the memo he penned that Trump used to justify to fire former FBI director James Comey. Rosenstein stands by the memo: “If you put something in writing, put your name on it and be prepared to stand behind it.”

Barr asked Rosenstein to stay on, which he called “a real privilege.”

It’ll be interesting to see how people respond to Rosenstein sticking by his boss. Aaron Blake at The Washington Post appears confused as to why Rosenstein would do this since, according to Blake, “Rosenstein hasn’t always had the best luck with such decisions.” Blake noted Rosenstein’s quote about standing by your words, but warned that “[V]ouching for the good faith of an individual who is embarking on a very fraught set of circumstances — and whose actions are under fire — is quite another.”

I don’t know how many times we have to explain why these investigations have to have redactions and reviews. The fact that a member of Mueller’s team is helping them should help ease their minds, but I guess not.


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