Rod Rosenstein and Truth Percolating

Rod Rosenstein, assistant attorney general of the United States and second in command at the Justice Department, is featured on the front page of today’s New York Times. According to the article, which is sourced to 4 people, Mr. Rosenstein appeared conflicted, was “shaken,” “unsteady,” and “overwhelmed” when he wrote the memo about former FBI Director James Comey’s performance at the FBI. President Trump fired Mr. Comey shortly after he received the Rosenstein memo. The sources maintain that Mr. Rosenstein was angry at the time because he felt that the White House used him to rationalize firing Mr. Comey. Well, now, why write the memo of justification for firing Mr. Comey if you cannot support firing Mr. Comey?

Then the “Why did you write it?” question eludes the Times. And there is a big part of the story that only gets a few lines. Mr. Rosenstein has made public statements before Congress that show no regret about the memo, “I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it.” Yet the Times story quotes one of the four people as saying Mr. Rosenstein sounded “frantic, nervous, upset, and emotionally dis-regulated (whatever that means).” The sources say that Mr. Rosenstein was criticized by career prosecutors for allowing President Trump to use him.

The Justice Department, through a spokeswoman, disputes the descriptions, saying that if Mr. Rosenstein was all those things it was because Mr. McCabe had concealed the Comey memos from him. Mr. McCabe’s cadre of anonymous sources disputes that story, with a close McCabe associate saying Mr. Rosenstein never brought up the memos to Mr. McCabe. Mr. McCabe was terminated by FBI Director Christopher Wray for lying. Talk about your tangled webs. Make up your own chart and insert here. Isn’t the FBI supposed to be chasing the liars?

Somewhere in and amongst the friends, the close associates, the spokeswoman, and Mr. Rosenstein’s public statements and speeches, the truth rests. Eventually, the truth will percolate. In the meantime, the Barometer is grateful to have never worked in D.C. Too many buses to get thrown under. Too much duplicity. Too many back- and front-stabbers. Too much drama. Too many painful career deaths by a thousand cuts. For the sake of ending the nation’s “emotional dis-regulation” let’s hope for bubbling percolation so that this mess can be wrapped up and we can move on to something less soap operaish. We are all “sane,” “overwhelmed,” “nervous,” “upset,” and, one new adjective, disappointed with the whole lot of them. A pox on all your fiefdoms.

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD. The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader's Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio. She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles. Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.
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