AFTER MONTHS OF SILENCE, ASKS IF ROSENSTEIN IS “TOTALLY CONFLICTED”
by Sharon Rondeau
The committee, particularly the Republican majority, wishes to know if any of Comey’s decisions or actions, or those of his subordinates, were politically-motivated in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election relative to the launch of an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign based on allegations of its “collusion” with Russian operatives.
Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017. One week later, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein hired Robert Mueller, Comey’s FBI predecessor, to assume the Trump campaign probe.
For months, Trump has maintained that Mueller has undisclosed conflicts of interest which should have precluded him from accepting the position of “Special Counsel.” Also, for the first time, Trump questioned whether or not Rosenstein’s letter recommending that Comey be fired rendered him “totally conflicted,” most likely in regard to his hiring of Mueller one week after Comey’s termination and his professional acquaintance with both Mueller and Comey.
It has been reported that Mueller is wrapping up probe and intends to issue a report of his findings.
Trump’s series of tweets began with, “Robert Mueller and Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest. And bye the way, wasn’t the woman in charge of prosecuting Jerome Corsi (who I do not know) in charge of ‘legal’ at the corrupt Clinton Foundation? A total Which Hunt…” [sic]
That reference was likely to Jeannie Rhee, who defended Hillary Clinton in a lawsuit over her obscured “private” emails as well as the Clinton Foundation in 2015. A past Democratic donor, Rhee was working at Mueller’s law firm, Wilmer Hale, when Mueller tapped her to join his team of prosecutors.
According to The Hill‘s John Solomon, whistleblowers working at the Clinton Foundation presented evidence of wrongdoing to the FBI last year.
As a former Justice Department attorney, Rhee represented Obama’s then-deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes, to the Select Committee in the House of Representatives investigating the 9-11-12 terrorist attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya which killed four Americans and was originally blamed on an obscure internet video.
A second tweet 12 minutes later is not completely contextual with the first.
The conclusion of that tweet continued into Trump’s third tweet in the series with, “Will all of the lying and leaking by the people doing the Report, & also Bruce Ohr (and his lovely wife Molly), Comey, Brennan, Clapper, & all of the many fired people of the FBI, be listed in the Report? Will the corruption within the DNC & Clinton Campaign be exposed?..And so much more!”
In dozens of tweets over the course of Mueller’s 19-month investigation, Trump has pointed to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign, which formed a merger of sorts prior to the election, as having committed the actual “collusion” with Russia by means of commissioning the now-infamous Russia “dossier” through the private company Fusion GPS.
Bruce Ohr is a demoted DOJ official who reportedly communicated with the dossiers author, British citizen Christopher Steele, both before and after the 2016 election. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, who Trump called “Molly,” reportedly contributed to work on the dossier, which was presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to obtain for successive FISA warrants on Trump foreign-policy advisor Carter Page.
Trump and others have accused Comey of leaking sensitive and/or classified information, particularly in regard to Comey’s admission under oath that he provided at least one of his memos of a meeting with Trump to a friend, Daniel Richman, with the express purpose of getting it to The New York Times and prompting the hiring of a special counsel.
After The Times reported in September that Rosenstein had cooling the idea of “wearing a wire” during his private meetings with Trump and convincing members of the Trump cabinet to claim Trump unfit for office using the 25th Amendment, Trump said he would not remove Rosenstein, and the two engaged in what Trump called a “great” conversation during a trip to Orlando, FL in early October.