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'Here I Stand' — Or There He Goes?

As James Comey steps with both his left feet right into his Oscar Wilde moment, another player in the preening emotional drama that is the Mueller investigation has also taken the stage. Starring in the role of Drama Queen today is none other than Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man to whom all roads lead in the current mess. Forget the weepy, creepy Jim Comey -- if this were a Hercule Poirot story, the Belgian dandy would even now be waxing the tips of his moustaches and getting ready to enter the drawing room at Main Justice, his j'accuse at the ready.

Consider this news -- or should I say, strategic pre-emptive leak:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has struck a stoic and righteous tone in private conversations he has had this week about the fate of his job as President Donald Trump has launched public criticism against him and considered firing him, according to three sources who have spoken to Rosenstein.

In those conversations, he has repeated the phrase, "Here I stand," a reference to Martin Luther's famous quote, "Here I stand, I can do no other." Coincidentally, former FBI Director James Comey, whom Rosenstein fired, repeated the same phrase to President George W. Bush in a conversation that has been widely reported and that Comey describes in his forthcoming book.

One source who spoke to Rosenstein said he seemed fully aware he may soon lose his job and was at peace with the possibility, confident he had done his job with integrity.

Recall that it was Rosenstein who wrote the memo that president Trump cited when he fired Comey back in May. It was Rosenstein who stepped up to run the "Russian collusion" investigation after new attorney general Jeff Sessions foolishly succumbed to the Democrat-Media Complex's hysteria over Hillary Clinton's shocking loss and recused himself. It was Rosenstein who authorized the appointment of the special counsel and gave him an open-ended mandate, after Comey deliberately leaked his own memos, via a cut-out, to the New York Times in order to provoke just such an action. And it was Rosenstein who signed off on the misleading FISA warrants that currently have the FBI and the Justice Department in hot water with Congress.

In other words, Rosenstein is the man at the center of this whole mess. And now, anonymously, he's singing like a canary to his pals in the media in order to hold onto his job by publicly fretting that he's about to lose it.

Rosenstein has said in recent private conversations that history will prove he did the right thing by firing Comey in May 2017, claiming that the American people do not have all the facts about what led to his decision to write the memo that led to Comey's dismissal, the sources said. Those same sources spoke to Rosenstein multiple times over the course of his tenure as the No. 2 attorney at the Justice Department and say Rosenstein now seems less anxious than he has been at previous times when the president has criticized him.

They previously described Rosenstein as anxious and upset under the pressure of public criticism for his role in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey as well as the president's wrath for his subsequent decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Particularly in early summer 2017, around the time he fired Comey, and towards the end of the year as Trump increased his public denunciations of Rosenstein, sources say they witnessed the deputy attorney general's anxiety flare, sometimes in late-night phone calls.