Professor Jonathan Turley, a trustworthy analyst, one of the few, just posted his summary of former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s testimony today before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Despicably, Democrats had attacked the hearings as if there was no reason to be troubled about the way the investigation of “Russian collusion” was handled despite a mountain of evidence indicating that it was biased, motivated by partisanship, and quite probably illegal. Rosenstein’s testimony, as Turley points out, demonstrated how disingenuous that partisan complaint was. He writes, “Rosenstein said that there is a legitimate question of ‘why it happened?’ That would seem to support the hearing that Democrats are denouncing. ”
Why yes, that seems to be a fair assessment.
I recommend reading Turley’s spin-free account because it is unlikely that the mainstream news media will adequately cover the hearing, since that would interfere with cheerleading and rationalizing the riots.
Is that overly harsh? I don’t think so. Even the sometimes infuriatingly diplomatic professor is showing signs of losing patience at the constant, shameless efforts to bury the truth. I passed the stage he is reaching now a few years ago.
Some highlights and lowlights:
- Two Democratic Senators, Booker and Hirono, asked Rosenstein about the death of George Floyd.
That’s beneath contempt, almost “Have you no decency?” level politics.
- Hirono, arguably the least competent of all the Senators on either side of the aisle, “….seems to be making a case for the Administration,” Turley observed:
She just prompted Rosenstein to say that he agreed with the view that there was no evidence of obstruction of justice. She then dug deeper and Rosenstein just said that “he agrees that there was no evidence of a crime” by Trump. Hirono continued to dig deeper. She pressed Rosenstein on how a 1000 prosecutors disagreed with him. Rosenstein just said “we have a lot more than 1000 former prosecutors.” He said that while they did not know the full record, he did. Hirono cut him off again. Rosenstein said it was unfair. “Nobody was in favor of prosecution.”
Turley concludes, “The most damaging testimony against the Justice Department came from the questioning by Sen. Hirono who is proof of the long-standing rule in litigation to avoid questions that you do not know the answer to.”
- Sen. Crapo got Rosenstein to agree that the Inspector General did in fact find bias but that he could not prove that bias was the reason for decisions., noting that the IG could only ask the people if their bias impacted their decision and there is obviously no documentary evidence to prove how the bias impacted decisions. Crapo noted that the IG said it was unlikely that all of these errors could occur without bias.
Rosenstein “deflected the question on his view. He agreed that bias was found. Rosenstein said that he felt Attorney General needs to still address the issue.”
- “Rosenstein agreed that the conduct of the FBI in the case was “certainly a threat” to the system of justice and court process with regard to FISA.”
This, I will continue to note until I rot, was the “Kool-Aid” I was accused of drinking by enabling partisans on Ethics Alarms, now happily zoning out on MSNBC.
- Turley notes that Sen. Cruz said that he believed Rosenstein “was grossly negligent in his handling of the investigation.” Rosenstein said that he did not know about the discrediting of the Steele dossier or the fraudulent filings of an agent or the fact that the Steele dossier was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.
Yes, I’d agree that shows negligent handling by Rosenstein.
Do read the the whole thing. Turley is an underappreciated objective and ethical contributor to public understanding in the midst of news media disinformation.
He also has a lot of typos, which makes me feel better.