“THE PRESIDENT’S GOTTA DO SOMETHING”
by Sharon Rondeau
Committee and congressional Republicans have been frustrated for over a year with the Justice Department’s failure to turn over thousands of pages of documents relating to the surveillance of Carter Page over approximately a year and well into the Trump presidency. Since August 2017, the DOJ, in the person of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, has gradually released many of the subpoenaed documents after some congressional Republicans pushed to move on Articles of Impeachment against him.
Among documents released to Congress but not the general public is a 20-page segment of the Carter Page October 2016 FISA application which Trump decided to declassify earlier this month. However, last week, Trump tweeted that at the request of interested parties, including U.S. “allies,” he had turned over the documentation to the DOJ’s inspector general for additional review.
Nunes told Pirro that Republicans on the Intel Committee very much want the American people to see what is contained in the 20 pages prior to the November 6 midterm elections.
Also included in those pages, Nunes said, are the FBI “302s,” or interview reports, of DOJ attorney Bruce Ohr, whose role in pursuing the Trump-Russia “collusion” narrative appears to be key.
Ohr’s wife Nellie was employed by Fusion GPS, a private opposition-research company hired by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign to procure “dirt” on Trump.
When Pirro asked Nunes if Rosenstein were involved in urging Trump to withhold the FISA documents from public release for now, Nunes responded that if that were the case, it would represent a significant conflict of interest given that Rosenstein signed the fourth and final application in June 2017.
On Saturday morning, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte told the hosts of Fox & Friends that Rosenstein has agreed to meet with committee members to discuss a report in The New York Times claiming that Rosenstein suggested that Trump should be removed from office based on the 25th Amendment, which states the procedure for declaring a president incapable to carry out his duties.
The article also claims that Rosenstein suggested secretly recording Trump “in the spring of 2017.” The allegations were reportedly based on memos fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote allegedly leaked to The Times.
Through his attorney, Michael Bromwich, McCabe denied releasing the memos.
While acknowledging Strzok’s “troubling” comment about the “insurance policy” and launching of the Russia investigation, some rejected the notion that agents of a “Deep State” have attempted to thwart Trump’s presidency. On December 18, 2017, The Washington Post opined, in part:
But there are a few holes in the argument. The first is that “insurance policy” part doesn’t refer to anything specifically except the concept of getting life insurance before you turn 40 years old. It is hugely unlikely you would die before the age of 40, Strzok seemed to be saying, but you get insurance anyway because even that slim possibility would be catastrophic for your family. This has been reported all over conservative media as Strzok saying they needed some kind of insurance policy against Trump winning — i.e. the Russia investigation or perhaps even taking it easy on Hillary Clinton in her email investigation — but it’s not nearly so directly stated. It seems like Strzok was using the metaphor as a commentary on how fear of a Trump presidency was rational even if it seemed to be a remote possibility at the time.
Rosenstein has denied the claims made in The Times’s report and was scheduled to meet with Trump Thursday to make his case. The meeting was pre-empted at Trump’s request so that he could focus on the day of testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to the Senate Judiciary Committee as to her allegations of sexual assault against U.S. Supreme Court nominee, DC Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and Kavanaugh’s refutation of her claims.
“The President’s gotta do something,” Nunes concluded the interview with Pirro.