As news around Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein unfolds, we again witness the propensity of the #NeverTrump media to spin coverage to fit a preconceived negative political narrative. Thanks to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Session in matters relating to what was thought to be an investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Rosenstein is the man in charge and the guy who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
It has long been implied that Rosenstein was pressured into writing the letter recommending the firing of FBI Director James Comey – the letter to which President Trump referred when giving Comey the boot. As with so many of these specious narratives, there was no evidence to establish the truth of that opinion. In fact, Rosenstein has repeatedly stated that he stands by the content and the recommendation in his letter. “I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it,” said Rosenstein. End of subject.
Well … not when it comes to a media determined to advance fact-challenged political narratives against all things Trump. The headline on an article by Trump media antagonists and of the New York Times (naturally) read, “’Shaken’ Rosenstein Felt Used by White House in Comey Firing.” The implication, of course, is that what Rosenstein wrote was not his real opinion despite his repeated claims to the contrary. Their column was then given wide coverage on the left-wing cabal stations (<–And no, that is not a typo) – earning Schmidt yet another appearance on MSNBC to hype anti-Trump narratives.
In advancing this narrative, Schmidt and Goldman make Rosenstein out to be a corruptible and weak person – a political lackey of the first order. This comes after months of media reports – including in the New York Times – that have been building up Rosenstein is a very strong upright fellow resisting Trump’s desire to end the investigation into campaign collusion. According to the initial media theories, Rosenstein is all that stands in the way of Trump firing Mueller.
Unless you were in a coma for the past year and a half, you would know that the New York/Washington media bubble has been speculatively announcing the firing of Mueller and Rosenstein as standard news fare for more than a year – often under the false banner of breaking news. This latest mendacious report comes only days after Rosenstein again testified under oath that he stands by the letter down to the last period.
What evidence do Schmidt and Goldman have to substantiate their story? Of course, it is based on mostly nameless sources described only as friends and colleagues of Rosenstein. I say “mostly” because the authors did name one source – Andrew McCabe. He was fired by the Attorney General for misconduct and was part of the internal FBI Trump resistance team. Hardly a credible source.
Even worse, the conversations in question occurred more than a year ago – at the time of the Comey firing. In other words, this breaking news is based on very old gossip that has been since repudiated by Rosenstein, himself. And why did these sources wait more than a year to talk to the press?
It would be interesting to know if these sources heard this from Rosenstein himself or were they just repeating what other friends of Rosenstein might have told them? How far down the gossip chain does this go? Where these other sources part of the anti-Trump clique in the Justice Department in addition to McCabe? One admonition for judging the reliability of information is to consider the source, but these days media sources are concealed at unprecedented levels – denying us the ability to consider their credibility. Where we have a named source, the credibility is very low. Transparency does not apply to the Fourth Estate.
In response to the story, Justice Department spokesperson, Sarah Isgur Flores, said that if Rosenstein was upset, it was not about the letter but the fact that McCabe had concealed critical information until it was about to be released in a leak to … take a guess … the New York Times.
One might ask why it is so important for the #NeverTrump media to spin the story in an obvious effort to undermine the Rosenstein letter—even at the cost of throwing Rosenstein under the bus. Very simple. Like any prosecutor, they want the evidence to lead to charges of obstructions of justice against Trump – that the Russian investigation was the ONLY reason Trump fired Comey. The Rosenstein letter provides a broader purpose for the firing of Comey. In addition, the report by the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz provides further evidence of Comey’s misconduct in terms of the Clinton investigation and his animus against Trump that led Comey and others under his command to violate FBI rules and procedures.
From a distance, it appears that the charge of criminal collusion between Trump and the Russians has all but faded away. Despite the best efforts of the New York media, the obstruction of justice charge seems to be on the same trajectory – no matter how much reporters like Schmidt and Goldman try to prosecute the case.