Rod Rosenstein and the Mueller hit squad

Rod Rosenstein and the Mueller hit squad

Rosenstein’s performance in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, then you missed — well — not much. Rosenstein’s testimony, in and of itself, was fairly unremarkable. Confronted with withering cross-examinations by Representatives Trey Gowdy and Jim Jordan, Rosenstein mouthed platitudes about his dedication to his job, his belief that the people who work at the FBI and Department of Justice are “honorable, principled, and trustworthy;” and his belief that Robert Mueller is above reproach.

It was what Rosenstein didn’t say that was worth examination. He didn’t say whether the FBI had forked over taxpayer money for the infamous “dossier” on President Donald Trump which turned out to be as credible as CNN’s “reporting.” He didn’t say whether anything other than the Christopher Steele-concocted fable, created with financial backing from shady firm Fusion GPS and — by extension — Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, had spurred the creation of the Special Counsel. He didn’t say whether the Department of Justice under former President Barack Obama had essentially begun to function as an anti-Trump hit squad. He didn’t even say what Robert Mueller is actually investigating, other than bogus rumors about tangential Trump-Russia connections which are inevitably debunked as Democrat talking points as fast as CNN can retract their reporting on them.

I think it’s just terrific that Rosenstein holds his fellow DoJ employees in such high regard; especially after revelations that FBI counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page, were so rabidly partisan that they’ve pretty much tainted the entirety of the Mueller team’s work before now.

He’s a real sport for continuing to stand up for them, even though we now know that Strzok and Page exchanged over 10,000 text messages on topic ranging from their illicit sexy times to an “insurance policy” in case Trump defeated their beloved Hillary.

Rosenstein is a stand-up cat for sticking with his people in light of the fact that Strzok appears to have let Hillary aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills skate after lying about their knowledge of the illegal private server the old girl used.

Kudos to Mr. Rosenstein for vouching for the bona fides of Mueller, who canned Strzok over his misdeeds in July, but tried to cover up his whole sorry involvement in the Special Counsel’s office since.

And a tip’o’the cap in Rosenstein’s direction for holding the line, despite working four doors down from Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. At least, Rosenstein used to work just a few doors down from Ohr, until Ohr was demoted for lying about his meetings with the Clinton-linked Fusion group; the same group for whom Ohr’s own wife was working.

Rosenstein had loads to say about the honor, principles and trustworthiness of his colleagues. But he seemed a little cloudy about some of them being dishonest, partisan, Hillary Clinton-superfans who have more interest in damaging the Trump presidency than they do in pursuing the cause of justice. And he had even less to say about former FBI Director James Comey, who turned his tenure into some kind of weird reality show, rather than focus on the particulars of his job.

Mueller’s operation is so infested with political skullduggery, it not only hasn’t functioned as a fact-finder, it can’t. Rod Rosenstein either wouldn’t or couldn’t say that. But I can. Pull the plug on this multi-million dollar sideshow and the rogue actors who have turned it — and a goodly portion of the Department of Justice — into a joke.

— Ben Crystal

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