News & Politics

Toensing: 'Never-Trumper' Rod Rosenstein's Response to Trump's Demand Was a 'Sham'

Toensing: 'Never-Trumper' Rod Rosenstein's Response to Trump's Demand Was a 'Sham'
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Washington D.C. attorney Victoria Toensing accused the FBI and the DOJ of being part of “a brazen plot to clear Hillary Clinton and frame Donald Trump,” blasting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in particular, on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Monday. Toensing, the wife and legal partner of D.C. attorney Joe diGenova, called Rosenstein’s response to President Trump’s demand that the Justice Department look into the Obama administration’s surveillance abuse an embarrassing “sham.”

“Let me just say that his demand was right on, and the response by Rod Rosenstein was embarrassing. It’s a sham,” she said. “He’s going to have the IG look into it? The IG? Now how is the IG going to talk to Sally Yates, who has left the Department?” she asked.

Toensing noted that the IG doesn’t have the power to question officials who have left the government, nor does he have grand jury authority. “What is this? This is a… this is a… as I say, it’s a sham,” she scoffed. “There’s no other word for it. Does Rod Rosenstein think we’re all that stupid? That he’s the only smart guy on the block?”

Toensing explained that the only way to investigate the former Obama officials effectively would be through someone who had those powers — either another special counsel or a U.S. attorney.

Hewitt asked her if a complete investigation would require an under-oath interview of Brennan, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates, and former FBI director James Comey.

“Oh, absolutely,” Toensing replied. “They should have been in the grand jury,” she said, adding: “Now my question is why wasn’t Rod Rosenstein already looking into this? What he should have said in response to the president’s tweet was, ‘well, we’re already looking into that matter.’ They were just sitting around sucking their thumbs while all this has been going on?”

Hewitt pointed out that FBI Director Christopher Wray is a Republican and both special counsel Robert Mueller and Rosenstein were appointed by Republican presidents.

But Toensing wasn’t impressed. “They’re all never Trumpers,” she said bluntly. “And Christopher Wray, I had an issue with him when he was assistant attorney general, and he didn’t have the cajones to take in a corrupt U.S. attorney. He ignored it.”

Earlier in the conversation, the two lawyers discussed why they believe the president can never be indicted.

“There are two OLC opinions, and OLC, as you well know, is the Office of Legal Counsel. And it really is, although it’s housed in the Justice Department, it really speaks on the law for the entire executive branch. And both of these opinions, one by a Republican Justice Department, and one by a Democratic Justice Department, state that the president cannot be indicted for not only Constitutional reasons, but also for very practical reasons,” Toensing explained.

The two also agreed, despite Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s public comments to the contrary, that President Trump should under no circumstances sit down with Mueller for an interview.

“You know, maybe Rudy’s just kind of positioning, playing. He and Donald Trump are like two peas in a pod,” Toensing explained. “I think maybe Rudy’s kind of just jockeying around, playing games. But I predict in the end that Rudy will advise against sitting down, and, of course, it’s always up to the client. And so it’s the president’s call.”

She explained how she handled a similar situation with a client who was a member of Congress. “I say, you want to go down to that grand jury? I’m going to go stand in that door, and I pointed to the door in his office, and I said, ‘you’re going to have to do it over my dead body.'”

Toensing said he continues to thank her every day for that advice.


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