Comey’s Out. Who’s Next for Rosenstein?

From:,  by Roger L. Simon,  on May 9, 2017

A NOTE from Garnet92: For those unfamiliar with Rob Rosenstein, he is the Deputy Attorney General, the second-in-command at the Department of Justice. His duties are to advise and assist Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the operation of the Justice Department. Rosenstein functions as a Chief Operating Officer; 25 components and 93 U.S. Attorneys report directly to the Deputy and 13 additional components report to the Deputy through the Associate Attorney General. On a daily basis, the Deputy decides a broad range of legal, policy and operational issues.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Bureau of Prisons, Office of Justice Programs, and the U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals Service all operate under the Department of Justice.


If I were Hillary Clinton, I’d be afraid.  I’d be very afraid.

Something has happened that has drastically changed her position in the world and that is the advent of Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general, a name not well known by many until now, although he has had quite an illustrious career at the Department of Justice and elsewhere.

Confirmed only April 25, 2017, Rosenstein wrote the well-crafted “Memorandum to the Attorney General” on the subject of “Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI.”  The contents of this memorandum are what many are assuming impelled Donald Trump to take an action he was hesitant to do, but probably should have done, on taking office  — firing FBI director James Comey before the reputation of the FBI was even more tarnished than it was.

Of course the left exploded, claiming a cover-up of the endless Russia investigation. But no matter when Donald Trump had fired Comey, day one or day one hundred and one, it would have created a conflagration.  Chuck Schumer would have yelled and screamed and waved his bloody shoe even though he himself had previously called for the same thing only months before. That’s what Schumers do, as does much of the rest of the not-so-loyal opposition.

Interestingly, a great deal of the minority leader’s immediate fulminations after the defenestration of Comey centered not on Trump but on Rosenstein, who is apparently that most terrifying of all things — a by-the-book straight shooter who espouses equal justice for all under the law.  Schumer demanded the deputy AG immediately appoint a special investigator to get to the bottom of the supposed Russia allegations.  Rosenstein may just make such an appointment, but for another purpose not as salutary to Schumer. From the deputy AG’s memorandum:

The Director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority on July 5, 2016 and announce his conclusion that the [Clinton email] case should be closed without prosecution.  It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement.  At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors. The Director now defends his decision by asserting he believed Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department.  There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General.  On July 5, however, the Director announced his views on the nation’s most sensitive criminal investigation [bold mine], without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.

Rosenstein goes on to quote numerous statements from attorneys general and deputy attorneys general of both parties concurring with his view, but this is a memorandum all should read in its entirety for themselves. Besides being an impressive brief for the firing of James Comey, it also appears to open the door for something else, for that “well-established process for other officials to step in” to lead to something yet more dramatic — the renewed investigation of Hillary Clinton.

The original investigation, under Comey, was replete with destroyed evidence, circumscribed interrogations (in Clinton’s case not under oath), and more unsolved mysteries than pills in an aspirin jar. It also opens the door for a new FBI director to be more forthcoming  about who in the Obama administration was doing all the unmasking of American citizens, information that critics claim Comey has “slow-walked.”  (If true, it will be interesting to find out why.)

No wonder Schumer was so upset. There’s a big difference between investigating Trump’s alleged collusion with the Russians and Clinton’s use of an unapproved private server for the entire emails, many top secret, of the secretary of state and then her erasure of tens of thousands of them.  As anyone with a brain knows she’s guilty.  So far, Trump’s not — and considering how long this has gone on without a smidgen of evidence, that’s highly unlikely to change.

Yes, I know both Trump and Sessions had pledged not to pursue the “Clinton matter” and let bygones be bygones.  But that was before the onslaught, the so-called “Resistance” that has made governing so impossible for the administration. It’s been non-stop ugliness since the inauguration and even before.  Graciousness was not, in the slightest, rewarded.  Indeed Clinton herself has now declared herself part of the “Resistance” (has she brushed up on her French?) — talk about opening the door.  As someone once said, “Punch back twice as hard.”

But it was impossible to punch back with an understaffed and politically compromised Justice Department and an FBI director who was at once all-powerful and bizarrely mercurial. Tucker Carlson reported Tuesday night that guests on his show often told him how much they “feared” Comey — but only during the commercial.  Well, they have less to be afraid of now.

It’s Hillary who has a lot to worry about.  The renewed Justice Department with Rosenstein holds the cards and this time the punch should have real force, possibly even fatal. Start by empaneling a grand jury. Maybe add a soupçon of Benghazi testimony.  The sky’s the limit when you’ve got justice on your side.

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media.  His latest book is I Know Best:  How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If  It Hasn’t Already.  You can find him on Twitter @rogerlsimon.


Prior to his current appointment, Rosenstein served as a United States Attorney for the District of Maryland. He was a former nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He has an impressive educational background, having graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. in Economics, summa cum laude in 1986. He earned his J.D. degree cum laude in 1989 from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He then served as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 

President Donald Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General on January 13, 2017. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 2017, by a 94-6 vote.

It remains to be seen what, if anything, will be done about Hillary’s copious malfeasance. Although Trump has said that HE would not pursue prosecution of Hillary, but he stopped short of saying that he would prevent ANYONE ELSE from going after her. Maybe there is hope that the Witch of Washington will finally get her comeuppance.


Categories: Political

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4 replies

  1. Simon: ”I know both Trump and Sessions had pledged not to pursue the “Clinton matter” and let bygones be bygones.”

    If that’s true it’s very disturbing, and the blatant politics of it really galls me. What right does Donald Trump have to deny justice to the American people just because he won his political fight against Hillary? Her crimes were against all of US – not him personally. He’s a POTUS, not an emperor.

    If there’s clear evidence of a prosecutable crime there, then of course the Justice Department should still go after Hillary. My only concern is that the mishandling by Comey and Lynch, including the destruction of evidence and the granting of immunity to witnesses, may have permanently damaged the government’s case. If so then maybe Comey and Lynch should be under investigation, but those two are the biggest pair of double-talkers I’ve ever seen. Neither one will ever give you a straight answer.

    I think Rod Rosenstein’s memo recommending the firing of Comey is spot on. There is no question that Comey completely mishandled the Clinton investigation and abused his authority. His actions were outrageous, IMO, and they defy explanation. The problem for me is that we knew this all along, so why did Trump need Rosenstein to tell him the obvious before he acted? If the answer is that he wanted the cover of a neutral opinion from someone not involved in his campaign, then why engage in such oral stupidity as to say he had confidence in Comey BEFORE he was fired and then that he planned to fire Comey all along AFTER he used Rosenstein’s memo to explain the firing?

    Why must Trump bungle every act even when he’s ultimately doing the right thing???!!!

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is what happens when you have a POTUS who lacks certain core principles and convictions about right and wrong. A POTUS should not use his office to influence an investigation or prosecution one way or another, meaning that President Trump should neither encourage nor discourage the Justice Department from investigating/prosecuting Hillary. And if a POTUS knows that an FBI Director allowed politics to taint an investigation and prosecution of a serious crime and he can’t be confident that it won’t happen again, then the right thing to do is to fire him ASAP. But rather than do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may, Trump is constantly calculating what the benefit or the detriment will be to him personally/politically, and so it’s coming back to bite him.


    • You pretty much covered it, CW. Trump, even though he is accomplishing some good, is still the bumbling buffoon we expected him to be. And he has a propensity for bungling – we can expect that to continue too. His only saving grace is that he has the balls to challenge the establishment, both R’s and D’s and that is what he has going for him. He may well go down in history as a terrible president, but he will have achieved more good for the country than Obama ever did or Hillary would have done.


  2. Now that Comey is no longer a blockade, the FBI can get back to meting out justice instead of digging through ‘non-evidence’ for endless hours. They need something they can sink their teeth into in order to restore their reputation of justice for all.

    Reopening the investigation(s) into Hillary’s misdeeds is that perfect something. We know she’s guilty and we know there’s evidence to prove it. If they want to be seen as non-political, then they need to pursue this to the end. They cannot afford to go soft on her because of her age or her gender, or for any other reason, or they’ll never restore their reputation. I guess we’ll see what Rosenstein is made of, at least until his successor is chosen.


    • I guess I’m so jaded that I still wouldn’t bet the farm that they will go after Hillary. The should, and I hope that they do, that would be one way that some confidence could be returned to our “rule of law” and “no one is above the law” sayings. Otherwise, she’ll be a poster child for a corrupt politician getting away with scores of crimes.


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