Rod Rosenstein officially submitted his resignation as Deputy Attorney General after releasing disturbing information about former Obama Administration officials — including former FBI Director James Comey.
On April 25, 2019, then-Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein spoke publicly about the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election for the first time since the Mueller report came out. And, the oft maligned Rosenstein didn’t hold anything back. While speaking at the Public Servants Dinner of the Armenian Bar Association in New York, the Deputy Attorney General blasted both the Obama administration and former FBI Director James Comey. He even took a swipe at the fake news media.
Rosenstein was in charge of overseeing the Russia probe after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all investigations pertaining to the 2016 presidential contest. TheBlaze reported that the Deputy Attorney General condemned the Obama administration for not being forthright with the American people regarding the scope of Russian election meddling. Rosenstein also called out Comey for selectively leaking classified information about the probe.
“Some critical decisions about the Russia investigation were made before I got there,” he said. “The previous administration chose not to publicize the full story about Russian computer hackers and social media trolls, and how they relate to a broader strategy to undermine America.”
An emboldened Rosenstein also remarked, “The FBI disclosed classified evidence about the investigation to ranking legislators and their staffers. Someone selectively leaked details to the news media. The FBI director announced at a congressional hearing that there was a counterintelligence investigation that might result in criminal charges. Then the former FBI director alleged that the president pressured him to close the investigation, and the president denied that the conversation occurred. So, that happened.”
The Obama administration has taken a lot of heat for its handling of Russian election meddling. In late 2016, NBC reported that high-level administration officials decided to not react urgently to Russian interference. The reason stemmed from former President Barack Obama’s desire to not appear that his administration was getting involved in the 2016 election. NBC also revealed that the administration acted slowly because officials, like most of the rest of the country, thought former first lady Hillary Clinton was going to win the White House easily.
Besides criticizing the Obama administration and Comey, Rosenstein also defended his actions in the probe at the Public Servants Dinner.
“At my confirmation hearing in March 2017, a Republican senator asked me to make a commitment. He said: ‘You’re going to be in charge of this [Russia] investigation. I want you to look me in the eye and tell me that you’ll do it right, that you’ll take it to its conclusion and you’ll report [your results] to the American people.’ I did pledge to do it right and take it to the appropriate conclusion,” Rosenstein revealed. “I did not promise to report all results to the public, because grand jury investigations are ex parte proceedings. It is not our job to render conclusive factual findings. We just decide whether it is appropriate to file criminal charges.”
According to Fox News, Rosenstein disparaged “mercenary critics” who “express passionate opinions about any topic, often with little or no information. They do not just express disagreement. They launch ad hominem attacks unrestricted by truth or morality. They make threats, spread fake stories and even attack your relatives…Some of the nonsense that passes for breaking news today would not be worth the paper it was printed on, if anybody bothered to print it.”
The Deputy Attorney General will be leaving his position in two months. While much of his speech was serious, Rosenstein did have some lighter moments. According to Fox News, he responded to the inquiry many on social media were asking after seeing him standing stoically behind Attorney General William Barr before the highly anticipated Mueller report release. Rosenstein said, “Last week, the big topic of discussion was, ‘What were you thinking when you stood behind Bill Barr at that press conference, with a deadpan expression?’ The answer is: I was thinking, ‘My job is to stand here with a deadpan expression.’
~ Liberty Planet