As Rosenstein Departs, the Battlefield Is Now Ready

May 13, 2019 Updated: May 15, 2019


The Department of Justice on May 9 held a going-away ceremony for Rod Rosenstein, who is leaving after having served probably the most crucial role in the Trump administration for the past two years.

As Rosenstein makes his long-anticipated departure as deputy attorney general, the final pieces are moving into position on the battlefield that President Donald Trump has been carefully preparing for more than two years.

As I wrote in my column, “Trump Continues to Prepare the Battlefield,” on Jan. 18, it was absolutely of paramount importance that Rosenstein leave the Justice Department (DOJ) before the prosecution phase of Spygate could begin. This is what I wrote:

“William Barr is coming in now to take over the next phase, while [Jeff] Sessions is free to appear as a witness and testify about what McCabe and the other plotters told him at the time they were trying to entrap him.

Do you know who would also have to leave his current job at the DOJ to be a participant in these prosecutions? Because like Sessions, he’s involved a lot of this as a witness? Rod Rosenstein.”

While you are in the role of being called as a witness in certain criminal cases, you can’t also be in a position of authority over those selfsame cases. That’s why both Sessions and Rosenstein had to leave the DOJ before the prosecution phase could be launched.

People such as former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, whose key roles in the Spygate “insurance policy” are well known, are now making the rounds in the U.S. news media trying to get out ahead of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s soon-to-be-released FISA abuse report, by giving interviews in which they insist they did nothing wrong and were only acting in the best interests of the country and certainly not on the basis of political partisanship or anything like that.

Their media allies are assisting these former top government officials by helping to launch the preemptive narrative that they are, in fact, heroic whistleblowers. Just one such example of setting the narrative is this recent CNN interview with Betsy Reed, head editor of The Intercept, in which she claims it’s “preposterous” to call a whistleblower a traitor.

I expected that this particular talking point of trying to claim the Spygate leakers were heroic whistleblowers would soon emerge, which is why I wrote the column “The Spygate Leakers Aren’t Whistleblowers; They’re Criminals” on April 29 to demonstrate the absurdity of it.

Key Fact About Rosenstein

If you recall, Trump invited former FBI Director Robert Mueller to the White House on May 16, 2017, supposedly to discuss the then-vacant top job at the FBI. James Comey had been fired by Trump just a week earlier, on May 9.

It just so happens that it’s a matter of public record that Rosenstein was also in the Oval Office for this crucial meeting.

Trump himself directly stated in an interview on July 19, 2017, with New York Times reporters Maggie Haberman, Peter Baker, and Michael Schmidt that Rosenstein was there for this interview with Mueller:

“Trump: Yeah, what Jeff Sessions did was he recused himself right after, right after he became attorney general. And I said, ‘Why didn’t you tell me this before?’ I would have—then I said, ‘Who’s your deputy?’ So his deputy he hardly knew, and that’s Rosenstein, Rod Rosenstein, who is from Baltimore. There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any. So, he’s from Baltimore. Now, he, we went through a lot of things. We were interviewing replacements at the F.B.I. Did you know Mueller was one of the people that was being interviewed?

Haberman: I did, actually.

Trump: He was sitting in that chair. We had a wonderful meeting.

Haberman: Day before, right?

Schmidt: Did he want the job?

Trump: The day before! Of course, he was up here, and he wanted the job.

Haberman: And he made that clear to you? He would have—

Trump: So, now what happens is, he leaves the office. Rosenstein leaves the office. The next day, he is appointed special counsel. I said, what the hell is this all about? Talk about conflicts? But he was interviewing for the job. There were many other conflicts that I haven’t said, but I will at some point.”

Another interesting fact about that May 16 Oval Office interview is that Bloomberg News reported back on Aug. 3, 2018, that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was also there:

“President Donald Trump sat with Robert Mueller in the Oval Office in May of last year to interview him for a job: director of the FBI.

The next afternoon, Trump was in another Oval Office meeting when an aide interrupted with news that Mueller had taken a different post: special counsel to investigate Trump’s campaign.

Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who attended both meetings, were blindsided, according to a person familiar with both meetings. The president immediately blasted Sessions for not knowing the announcement was coming and challenged how the person he’d just interviewed for the FBI job—and who Trump said had a past dispute with him over golf club fees—could now be investigating him, the person said.”

So, far from this being a solo one-on-one meeting with just Trump and Mueller present, sources place both Sessions and Rosenstein in the room as well, which changes the picture, doesn’t it?

Now the popular narrative about this interview is that Rosenstein and Mueller fooled Trump by not telling him a thing before Mueller’s sudden surprise appointment as special counsel the following day. We’re to imagine the president of the United States sitting there prattling on at length during this interview of Mueller, while not having any idea what’s about to happen, with Mueller trying to keep from smirking at him.

That’s the cover story we’re told. And you know why cover stories are used? Because most people will just instantly accept them.

Now, understand this: I can’t fault people who buy the cover stories and disinformation surrounding these events, because it’s Trump himself and his own team who are putting out a lot of it to keep their enemies distracted and out of their way.

The entire world is about to see this is true because Trump has already won. For the past two years, Rosenstein, far from being the snake in the garden, has actually been helping Trump prepare the battlefield for what’s going to unfold over the next few months. Two years of careful, stealth planning will begin to pay off.

Brian Cates is a writer based in South Texas and author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Twitter at @drawandstrike.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.