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.