In September of last year, at the height of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — who was overseeing the Mueller investigation and had appointed Mueller to the position in the first place — assured Donald Trump that he would “land the plane” in the investigation, and assured Trump that he was on his “team,” according to a blockbuster report by The Washington Post on Friday.
The conversation came shortly after a New York Times report on September 21 alleging that Rosenstein had once privately suggested that he “wear a wire” in his meetings with Trump, and had suggested surveying cabinet members about the possibility of removing Trump via the 25th Amendment provision that allows physically or mentally incapable presidents to be removed from office.
Rosenstein was so afraid that an enraged Trump would fire him from his job that he was “teary-eyed” before taking the call from Trump, according to the Washington Post report.
But in an interview on MSNBC on Friday, former Justice Department spokesperson Matt Miller blasted Rosenstein for giving “assurances” to Trump about the Mueller investigation, a move that Miller slammed as “unethical conduct.” In fact, Miller said that simply talking to Trump about the investigation in any capacity at all was “unethical” on Rosenstein’s part, especially “when he’s begging and pleading for his own job,” as quoted by Raw Story.
“The way to understand Rod is he’s weak, and he’s always been weak,” Miller said, as seen in the video, above.
Miller recounted three instances that he said were examples of Rosenstein showing that has been “weak.” Rosenstein, at Trump’s command, authored a letter in May of 2017 claiming falsely that he had recommended that Trump fire FBI Director James Comey due to Comey’s mishandling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, as posted online by the BBC.
But in reality, Mueller concluded in his report, which was posted online by The New York Times, that Trump had decided to fire Comey well before Rosenstein penned that letter, after Comey had refused to “lift the cloud” of what was then the FBI’s Russia investigation.
Miller also said that Rosenstein was “weak” when he agreed to open a “counter-investigation” demanded by Trump and Republicans into the origins of the Russia investigation, and when he endorsed Attorney General William Barr’s misleading four-page letter summarizing what Barr said were Mueller’s conclusions.
The Washington Post’s revelations about Rosenstein’s assurances to Trump that he would “land the plane” of the Russian investigation came less than 24 hours after Rosenstein delivered a combative speech to a legal group in which he quoted Trump stating “we govern ourselves in accordance with the rule of law,” which led Esquire Magazine columnist Charles P. Pierce to write, “Rosenstein’s credibility, such as it ever was, is now completely in tatters.”