Rod Rosenstein may or may not be fired from office due to possible negligent behavior. Claims that Rod J. Rosenstein discussed secretly recording President Trump in 2017 to expose the turmoil within the White House and invoke the 25th amendment have been going around for quite some time now. According to The New York Times, Rosenstein offered to resign after Spring of 2017, after Trump fired the FBI director, James Comey, who was working to investigate whether or not Russia was meddling in the election of 2016. Allegedly, the issues with Rosenstein came up just one week after the FBI director, James Comey, was released from his position. The New York Times also reported that Rosenstein told Andrew G. McCabe that he may be able to convince the White House chief of staff to go through with the 25th amendment and impeach the president.
However, Rosenstein wrote a response to The New York Times, in which he said “The New York Times’ story is inaccurate and factually incorrect, I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
One justice department spokeswoman claimed that she had heard Rosenstein suggest to someone to wear a wire. The person in which Rosenstein suggested that to, however, stated that Rosenstein was being sarcastic. On the other hand, other anonymous sources state that Rosenstein suggested the same idea to two other FBI officials, as well as the claim that Rosenstein stated that he himself was being serious when he made the remarks.
As well as possibly recording the President, Rosenstein is also being accused of trying to congregate other cabinet members to remove Trump from office for being “unfit”. During the FBI director’s dismissal, Rosenstein was reported as acting “conflicted, regretful and emotional”, according to people who spoke with him during this time.
During Rosenstein’s hearing, he was acting agitated and extremely defensive when asked many questions. When essentially asked “why are you still here”, Rosenstein responded with a big smile and stated “If it were appropriate for me to recuse, I would be more than happy to do so and let somebody else handle this,” as he lightly bounced up and down in his chair.
The major issue the nation is facing is the fact of whether or not Rosenstein was joking about recording the president or not. A senior department of justice official reported to NBC News that “The statement was sarcastic and was never discussed with any intention of recording a conversation with the president”. However, The New York Times reports that Rosenstein discussed recording the president in the Oval Office at least one other time.
USA Today reports that Trump said “My preference would be to keep (Rosenstein) and let him finish out,” to reporters. “He says he did not say it; he said he does not believe that. Nobody in this room believes it,” Trump said.
On the other hand, some Democratic lawmakers have suspicions that Trump will try to get rid of Rosenstein to clear his record from the Russia investigation, which Rosenstein was working on at the time before Comey was released. Trump has also criticized Rosenstein’s performance in office, along with several of his other allies.
There is much we as a nation still need to find out about this whole case. Was Rosenstein being serious? Was he being sarcastic? Does Trump want to keep Rosenstein or release him? Hopefully the truth will come out soon.
by Ryland Bonnet
photo by CNN