by Lisa Payne-Naeger
Sometimes I wonder if Donald Trump knew what he was really getting
himself into when he decided to run for president and drain the swamp.
Everywhere he’s turned he has met roadblocks, opposition and betrayal
as he tries to infuse policy he thinks will make America great again.
And ever since he was accused of colluding with Russia to sway the
2016 election, the constant turn of events have played out like a bad
daytime drama. The latest twist in the plot centers around Deputy
Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and if reports are true, he could be in
a heap of trouble.
On Saturday, Michael Goodwin wrote in the New York Post
that Rosenstein ordered United States Attorney Geoffrey Berman to
recuse himself from the investigation into the Michael Cohen case, which
in turn would leave his office staffed with Obama administration
holdovers from Preet Bharara’s tenure as Berman’s predecessor.
Berman was appointed to the Southern District of New York position by
President Trump after he fired Preet Bharara, an Obama appointee.
Since his firing, Preet has made his feelings known that he is not a
Trump supporter. The bias is clear. Looks like the president made a good
call on that one.
Preet BhararaVerified account @PreetBharara
Preet BhararaVerified account @PreetBharara
Preet Bharara Retweeted Henry J. Gomez
Some people hate this president BECAUSE they love this country
Preet Bharara added,
Henry J. GomezVerified account @HenryJGomez
Ronna Romney McDaniel, addressing the RNC at its winter meeting: Democrats "hate this president more than they love this country."
So Trump can unilaterally pardon anyone, absolutely pardon himself, impose his will on DOJ, ban all Muslims, levy any tarrif, and start any war but he CANNOT tell Sessions, whom he slaps down daily, to ease up on separating infants from parents at the border? Ok
Chris Strohm of Bloomberg reports
the significance of this move as they allege the strings of this case
are being pulled not by the Justice Department, but by prosecutors in
the Southern District of New York.
“Cohen’s guilty plea was secured as part of an investigation led by
the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, not by Special Counsel Mueller
or Justice Department headquarters, another frequent target of the
president’s derision. Instead, the deal was made by Robert Khuzami,
deputy U.S. attorney for the New York office,” he wrote.
“But neither Rosenstein nor Mueller is calling the shots for the
investigation in New York, according to two people familiar with the
matter. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New
York, commonly known as SDNY, has the independence to take investigative
steps and charge people without approval from Rosenstein, one of the
So while Rosenstein was consulted about Cohen’s plea, which implicated
Trump in campaign finance crimes, he didn’t sign off on it or approve
it, the person said. It’s not clear whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recusal from Mueller’s probe extends to the investigation in Manhattan.”
To sum up the significance of this move, let’s just say that the SDNY
is now driving the bus on any developing investigation into the Cohen
case. While the Justice Department still holds oversight as all U.S attorneys still answer to Rosenstein
, previously the SDNY has enjoyed independence of operation outside the U.S. Attorney’s office.
And the lines of communication are open and free between SDNY prosecutors and investigators in Robert Mueller’s office.
Bloomberg also states: “Rosenstein made the decision to give the
Cohen case to SDNY following a referral from Mueller. That also ensured
the investigation could continue even if Trump somehow managed to fire
the special counsel, a politically dangerous move that many Republicans
have warned the president to avoid.”
So, if it is true that Rosenstein intentionally moved the trial to
SDNY, it might be more than a suspicious coincidence that a
Trump-appointed attorney was ordered to recuse himself from the case
leaving it to less-unbiased attorneys general.
What a mess and an endless saga of betrayal. Trump appointed Jeff Sessions
as Attorney General in February of 2017, only to have Sessions recuse
himself from the Russia investigations in the beginning of March of that
This left Rod Rosenstein in charge of overseeing the Russia
investigations and he appointed Robert Mueller as Special Prosecutor in
May of 2017. Since that time there has been no evidence of Russian
collusion, but the Mueller team has bull dogged members of Trumps inner
circle and charged them with various unrelated crimes.
You can’t make this stuff up, folks. These latest allegations are almost a kin to jumping the shark for television sweeps week.
I guess we will see who wins in the ratings race in November.