, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Per CNN reporting just now, William Barr before today told the White House that he would be bringing in his own Deputy Attorney General if confirmed, so the news that Rosenstein will step down if Barr if confirmed should not have led to *any* of the hysteria it seems like it has.
2/ Rosenstein previously said he'd serve two years—so his departure around now isn't surprising anyway, and (in fact) will make it easier for him to coordinate with Mueller as a witness rather than a supervisor. Too many people are reading way too much into his pending departure.
3/ I'll go further: Rosenstein is friendly with Barr, used to work with him, and recommended him for the Attorney General spot—all of which indicates that his comfort level with Barr taking over the Mueller probe has *nothing* to do with an assessment of when that probe will end.
4/ I think that a lot of people who've bought into the erroneous reporting by @KenDilanianNBC and others about when the Mueller probe will end want to ignore the extension of Mueller's grand jury and yesterday's shocking collusion news to imply the opposite—Mueller's nearly done.
5/ In fact, Mueller is about to get *thousands* of pages of transcripts from Congress that will further enhance his ability to indict people like Trump Jr., Stone, and Prince, and there is already substantial reporting indicating he plans to indict Jerome Corsi and Paul Erickson.
6/ I'll allow that Rosenstein may think certain things have happened in the Mueller probe that now make it impossible to stop—sealed indictments are one, though I'll say I think the chance of those has been exaggerated by some—but he is *not* signaling he thinks it's almost done.
7/ What's unfortunate about the misreading (and frantic amplification) of the Rosenstein news is that it's *distracting* from the fact that the news about Manafort from yesterday—(more) clear proof of collusion—underscores that Mueller has a *long* way to go in his investigation.
8/ I assume everyone reading this thread knows that the DAG position is a Senate-confirmed position—we all recall watching Rosenstein's confirmation—so when I said Barr will bring in someone of his choice of course I meant he'll confer with Trump on who he wants to see nominated.
9/ My point is, despite their prior working relationship, if Barr had wanted Rosenstein to stay on rather than having someone else replace him he would have told both Trump and Rosenstein so, and Rosenstein wouldn't have said he's leaving (or, might have decided to leave anyway).
10/ That said, it's clear Trump wants Rosenstein gone and that, until he is confirmed, Barr must do everything to please the president—which he already *did* with his irresponsible editorializing on Mueller—so of *course* he's not going to say, "Mr. President, I want Rosenstein."
11/ Per Bloomberg News (@StevenTDennis) one reason Rod Rosenstein might be comfortable having Barr and a new deputy take over is that "Barr and Robert Mueller have been friends for decades; their wives attend Bible study together; Mueller has attended Barr’s daughters’ weddings."
12/ In any case, I'll close by saying this shutdown is Trumpist theater now intended to slow and enervate Democrats' Congressional probes and keep the focus on immigration rather than the collusion bombshell that dropped yesterday. The Rosenstein news is minor. Stay focused. /end
PS/ CNN reporting that Rosenstein would only leave if the Mueller probe were "complete" (a possibility we can ignore, as it clearly is not based on at least five anticipated indictments and hoped-for cooperation deals coming soon) or "close enough to complete it is protected"...
PS2/ ...is being over-interpreted. As I've laid out in this thread, even if that CNN reporting is correct, there are *many* reasons Rosenstein might either trust Barr's intentions *and/or* think that while Mueller has lots of work left, it's simply too late for Trump to stop him.
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