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Now Trump Is Inexplicably Attacking Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, Who May Have to Recuse Himself

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | June 16, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | June 16, 2017 |

Late last night, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein issued a very odd statement.

“Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated. Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.”

That’s a strange statement to come out of the blue, and it’s hard to make heads or tails of it. Did the White House compel Rosenstein to release the statement? A DOJ official tells CNN no, but also won’t go on the record saying as much. Did Rosenstein release the statement because of reports last night that Mueller’s probe is now extending to Jared Kushner? That seems odd, too, because Kushner’s involvement is not exactly a new or shocking development. Did Rosenstein issue the statement under pressure from Jeff Sessions to do so?

And what does this mean, which Trump just tweeted:

Is Trump referring to Rosenstein, who issued the memo citing the reasons Comey should be fired? Because Rosenstein isn’t actually investigating Trump. Mueller is. Congress is. And if he’s referring to Rosenstein, Trump specifically stated that he was going to fire Comey regardless of the recommendation. He specifically stated to Lester Holt that he fired Comey because of the Russian probe.

Also, Trump is clearly confirming that he is under investigation.

There’s some weird shit going on right now. And there’s also a lot of talk lately of “conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice,” a charge that could ensnare Sessions, Kushner (who reportedly advised the President to fire Comey), as well as any other aides in the White House who pushed for Comey’s dismissal. Is Pence involved in that, too? Because last night, it was reported that VP Pence had just hired outside counsel to help him deal with the Russian problem. His new lawyer, by the way, is the godfather to James Comey’s daughter, from what I have heard. (Is Pence in cahoots with Comey!)

And the thing is, with Mueller investigating Trump for obstruction of justice, many of these tweets Trump is sending out are themselves evidence of obstruction of justice.

Trump is killing himself.

Meanwhile, Rosenstein is in an awkward position, too. Issuing that statement could be seen as evidence that the White House or Sessions is pressuring him. Or does that statement have something to do with Trump’s tweet to the effect that Rosenstein is investigating the President? I have no idea.

And even if that’s not the case, Rosenstein may have to recuse himself if a conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice charge is leveled, because in that case, Rosenstein would be a witness to whatever Sessions has said. (This possibility is confirmed by NBC News). The fact that Trump is now showing a disdain for Rosenstein could also hasten Rosenstein’s recusal.

Rachel Brand — a Bush appointee — would then take over the Russian probe. Does Trump think he’d have better luck compelling Brand to fire Mueller? And if Trump is attacking Rosenstein to force a recusal, isn’t that even more evidence of obstruction of justice?

Does Trump just not what to be President anymore?

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.