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