Who’s Running This Country Anyway?

 

Judging from the actions (or lack thereof) of the Department of Justice and its stepchild, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they think that they are running the country. And I see no one—not the President, not the Congress, getting in their way. Forget about the three co-equal branches of government; they don’t exist in that manner today.

I am appalled at the behavior and actions of Asst. AG Rod Rosenstein at the DOJ, for one. He appears to be the one in charge, since almost everything I’ve seen from AG Jeff Sessions indicates he is feckless and unengaged. And saying that about Sessions disturbs me greatly, since I thought he could make a difference when Trump selected him.

Rod Rosenstein might as well be our chief executive. He speaks derisively about anyone who criticizes him, thinks he has the last say about which documents can be released, and how they can be released, and has chosen to slow-walk almost every document requested. When questioned about the potential impeachment draft being developed by the House Freedom Caucus, he commented on May 1:

‘As you think about the importance of separation of powers on Law Day here, any reaction to news that certain members of the House Freedom Caucus have talked about drafting Articles of Impeachment despite your best efforts to comply with their document requests?’

Rosenstein had to pause to laugh before he could move on to answering the question.

‘They can’t even resist leaking their own drafts,’ he said, then paused again as the entire audience joined his continued guffawing at Congress.’

His public disdain for members of Congress is shocking.

It also appears that in spite of Rosenstein’s denying many months ago that the Mueller investigation wasn’t a fishing expedition, critics of Mueller say that he has far exceeded the original scope. As a result, Rosenstein authorized Mueller to investigate Paul Manafort. To date, no crime regarding the Trump campaign has been identified, yet the case continues. Judge T.S. Ellis III was appointed to preside over the special counsel’s criminal case against Paul Manafort:

Ellis said that he believes the special counsel is only interested in Manafort to squeeze him for information ‘that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his impeachment.’

The judge said prosecutors wanted the former Trump campaign official to ‘sing,’ but he worried that Manafort might also ‘compose.’

Ellis then opined that the American people do not want a special counsel with unfettered power and even went so far as to ask when the investigation would conclude.

In fact, Judge Ellis, a Reagan-appointee, asked for a copy of the scope of Mueller’s investigation.

Meanwhile, Devin Nunes sent a memo to AG Jeff Sessions threatening a contempt of Congress charge. Sessions responded with the following remarks:

Congress has made inquiries concerning an issue of great importance for the country and concerns have been raised about the Department’s performance. I have great confidence in the men and women of this Department. But no Department is perfect.

Really.

So I will now take a deep breath in order to ask all my questions, in no particular order, of those of you out there who understand more about the operations of the federal government than I do:

Why doesn’t President Trump simply declassify all the relevant documents as determined by a trusted outside expert with previous experience with the FBI?

How can Sessions allow Rosenstein to take full control, essentially, of the Department of Justice?

Why doesn’t Jeff Sessions fire Rod Rosenstein?

Why doesn’t the President fire Rosenstein?

Why didn’t Judge Ellis rule that the scope of the Mueller investigation be released?

Why bother citing Sessions with contempt of Congress, since it will make no difference in his role?

Why aren’t Rosenstein and/or Sessions impeached?

Can’t anyone compel Rosenstein to respond to Congressional oversight?

The answer to almost all of these questions is that no one has the courage to stand up for what’s right or to hold people accountable. No one is really interested in serving the American people. No one is concerned that laws have been broken. No one cares that the DOJ is running roughshod over everyone else. No one is prepared to expose the duplicity, fraud, and disrespect that has been shown for anyone who isn’t in the DOJ or FBI.

So who is running this country, anyway?

There are 104 comments.

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  1. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    I can’t wait to see the second scope memo. Why does any aspect of that stuff make any sense?

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    I can’t wait to see the second scope memo. Why does any aspect of that stuff make any sense?

    I gave up on making sense out of current events a long time ago, @rufusrjones. What are you referring to re the “second scope memo”?

    • #2
  3. BalticSnowTiger Inactive
    BalticSnowTiger
    @BalticSnowTiger

    Presidential privilege and latitude of the commander in chief. Here shown in letting the chancellor to the court act freely but ultimately be solely being its jester. When he stops to be sufficiently distracting, enlightening and amusing his quartiles tend to end up on the capital gate spires.

    Remain calm, his condescension renders him toast already. He simply does not know or feel it, yet.

    • #3
  4. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    I can’t wait to see the second scope memo. Why does any aspect of that stuff make any sense?

    I gave up on making sense out of current events a long time ago, @rufusrjones. What are you referring to re the “second scope memo”?

    Something got publicized, I think accidentally, that Muller did something that he didn’t have permission for doing, so Rosenstien made a new, wider scope after the fact, AND THEY WANT TO KEEP IT 100% REDACTED to literally everyone. 

    That was what the judge was reeming the Muller team about last week.

    The other thing is, some of the 13 Russians that got indicted for interfering with election actually showed up to court the other day to start doing discovery on Mueller. The Russians are paying a U.S. law firm to muck up the Muller investigation secrecy. I love it. 

    Half of the people that we are Ruled by are idiots. 

    • #4
  5. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    The other thing is, some of the 13 Russians that got indicted for interfering with election actually showed up to court the other day to start doing discovery on Mueller. The Russians are paying a U.S. law firm to muck up the Muller investigation secrecy. I love it. 

    Putin is actually doing his part to save The Republic. You can’t make it up.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    BalticSnowTiger (View Comment):
    Remain calm, his condescension renders him toast already. He simply does not know or feel it, yet.

    Are you suggesting that when all is said and done, he will be properly dealt with? How much more damage will he do in the meantime, @balticsnowtiger?

    • #6
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I’d like Trump to be more bold. My guess is, everyone around him says the same thing: If you act on this stuff, you will lose.

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    The other thing is, some of the 13 Russians that got indicted for interfering with election actually showed up to court the other day to start doing discovery on Mueller. The Russians are paying a U.S. law firm to muck up the Muller investigation secrecy. I love it. 

    Thanks for clearing that up! I’m lovin’ the 13 Russians, too. And let’s see if Mueller responds.

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn: So who is running this country, anyway?

    I am!

    Okay, just kidding. No, I really wish Trump would call this guy on the carpet and tell him to put out (the documents), or get out (resign). I’ll bet he takes the latter approach, then has his book ghost-written and published before the 2018 elections.

    Maybe Rosenstein and Comey can do a book signing tour together . . .

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I’d like Trump to be more bold. My guess is, everyone around him says the same thing: If you act on this stuff, you will lose.

    I’m hoping with a couple of his attorneys leaving that he will be more bold. How can things get any worse, in terms of attacks on him, than they already have?

    • #10
  11. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    @susanquinn, I was just starting to type up my notes from my study of the transcript before Judge Ellis last Friday when I saw your excellent and thoughtful and thought provoking piece about this train wreck happening right before our very eyes and will offer more comprehensive comments once I finish that analysis. However, for the present, and also taking a stab a the point raised by @rufusrjones, I assume the second scope memo to which he refers is the one which was discussed right at the end of last Friday’s hearing in Judge Ellis’ Court, a point brought up by Manafort’s attorney, Kevin M. Downing (who did, by the way, an absolutely phenomenal job in his arguments and, in my humble opinion, ran circles around the attorney representing the Special Counsel, who happens to be the Deputy Solicitor General of the U.S.!) who asked the Judge to order, in addition to the unredacted version of the August 2, 2017 “scope letter”, the “memo record”, as he referred to it, that he assumed Rosenstein had dictated into the record to justify the reasons for expanding the jurisdiction of the Special Counsel. I do not know, but assume that’s what is being referred to, and that one could really be pure dynamite as it was almost certainly never intended to see the light of day, which apparently could describe practically everything the Dept. of [in]Justice does these days.

    Like you, I am more disappointed in Jeff Sessions than I can express and I really do believe, as much as I personally hate to have to say it, the President should fire him and he seems incapable of standing up to Rosenstein, for some really inexplicable reason. Rosenstein should definitely be fired–yesterday.

    I hope to be back in this conversation after I finish my piece, which I hope you and our other colleagues might find in some small way helpful, at least in understanding the dramatic events in Judge Ellis’ Court last Friday.

    Sincerely, Jim

     

     

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):
    Maybe Rosenstein and Comey can do a book signing tour together . . .

    . . . or not . . . ugh.

    • #12
  13. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Susan,

    Rosenstein’s arrogance is appalling. Sessions’ incompetence is apparent. We are reaching a breaking point. Rosenstein is literally acting as if he is reporting to Mueller instead of the other way around and Sessions is doing nothing about it. Mueller and his special prosecutor investigation is bankrupt and should be shut down. Rosenstein is just stalling hoping for more gimmicks to stretch it out.

    This comes to an end. One way or another. 

    Regards,

    Jim 

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jim George (View Comment):

    @susanquinn, I was just starting to type up my notes from my study of the transcript before Judge Ellis last Friday when I saw your excellent and thoughtful and thought provoking piece about this train wreck happening right before our very eyes and will offer more comprehensive comments once I finish that analysis. However, for the present, and also taking a stab a the point raised by @rufusrjones, I assume the second scope memo to which he refers is the one which was discussed right at the end of last Friday’s hearing in Judge Ellis’ Court, a point brought up by Manafort’s attorney, Kevin M. Downing (who did, by the way, an absolutely phenomenal job in his arguments and, in my humble opinion, ran circles around the attorney representing the Special Counsel, who happens to be the Deputy Solicitor General of the U.S.!) who asked the Judge to order, in addition to the unredacted version of the August 2, 2017 “scope letter”, the “memo record”, as he referred to it, that he assumed Rosenstein had dictated into the record to justify the reasons for expanding the jurisdiction of the Special Counsel. I do not know, but assume that’s what is being referred to, and that one could really be pure dynamite as it was almost certainly never intended to see the light of day, which apparently could describe practically everything the Dept. of [in]Justice does these days.

    Like you, I am more disappointed in Jeff Sessions than I can express and I really do believe, as much as I personally hate to have to say it, the President should fire him and he seems incapable of standing up to Rosenstein, for some really inexplicable reason. Rosenstein should definitely be fired–yesterday.

    I hope to be back in this conversation after I finish my piece, which I hope you and our other colleagues might find in some small way helpful, at least in understanding the dramatic events in Judge Ellis’ Court last Friday.

    Sincerely, Jim

     

     

    Thanks for the further clarification, @jimgeorge! We will anxiously await your analysis. I crave getting clarification and seeing some justice done. So I’m counting on you! ;-)

    • #14
  15. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

     

    Thanks for the further clarification, @jimgeorge! We will anxiously await your analysis. I crave getting clarification and seeing some justice done. So I’m counting on you! ;-)

    Oh, oh! Now the pressure is really on! I’ll have to type faster! :-) Jim. 

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    We are reaching a breaking point.

    What makes you think so? Is there some combination of conditions that leads you to believe that? I’m desperate here so just pick anything–well, not exactly anything . . .

    • #16
  17. BalticSnowTiger Inactive
    BalticSnowTiger
    @BalticSnowTiger

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    BalticSnowTiger (View Comment):
    Remain calm, his condescension renders him toast already. He simply does not know or feel it, yet.

    Are you suggesting that when all is said and done, he will be properly dealt with? How much more damage will he do in the meantime, @balticsnowtiger?

    His activities render him ineligible for promotion, so much seems certain. Within a good year he seems to have made more enemies on the right side of the Hill than Gonzales gathered by simply doing his job for the then President in years or decent Bill Smith for nominating O’Connor to the Supremes against O’Neill and Evil Red Ted.

    After the ’18 midterms end with the House up by 4 and the Senate by 5 if not 6, Sessions will find a nice serviced garden retirement and the new, young conservative AG will ask the President to allow him to bring in his new team. Confirmation sails through and Rosenstein finds a friendly, accommodating Wall Street law firm for a few winters and then sees clearly that neither Pennsylvania politics offers any path to him, no agency post is at hand and when Pence, or Hailey or Cotton follow Trump’s second term he becomes very stale toast.

    Overreach and condescension especially without the merit even Patton had cast a long-lasting shadow.

    • #17
  18. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    Susan Quinn: So who is running this country, anyway?

    Good question. From where I sit, and I follow this very closely, the deep state seems to be in charge and has even intimidated the Attorney General. It’s most disconcerting.

    • #18
  19. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I’d like Trump to be more bold. My guess is, everyone around him says the same thing: If you act on this stuff, you will lose.

    I’m hoping with a couple of his attorneys leaving that he will be more bold. How can things get any worse, in terms of attacks on him, than they already have?

    Yes. I think he should shut stuff done sooner than later.

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    BalticSnowTiger (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    BalticSnowTiger (View Comment):
    Remain calm, his condescension renders him toast already. He simply does not know or feel it, yet.

    Are you suggesting that when all is said and done, he will be properly dealt with? How much more damage will he do in the meantime, @balticsnowtiger?

    His activities render him ineligible for promotion, so much seems certain. Within a good year he seems to have made more enemies on the right side of the Hill than Gonzales gathered by simply doing his job for the then President in years or decent Bill Smith for nominating O’Connor to the Supremes against O’Neill and Evil Red Ted.

    After the ’18 midterms end with the House up by 4 and the Senate by 5 if not 6, Sessions will find a nice serviced garden retirement and the new, young conservative AG will ask the President to allow him to bring in his new team. Confirmation sails through and Rosenstein finds a friendly, accommodating Wall Street law firm for a few winters and then sees clearly that neither Pennsylvania politics offers any path to him, no agency post is at hand and when Pence, or Hailey or Cotton follow Trump’s second term he becomes very stale toast.

    Overreach and condescension especially without the merit even Patton had cast a long-lasting shadow.

    I so appreciate this picture!! And it seems plausible, if everything falls into place. Not everyone would agree with your 2018 predictions, though.

    • #20
  21. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):
    Maybe Rosenstein and Comey can do a book signing tour together . . .

    . . . or not . . . ugh.

    I know. The visuals . . .

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: So who is running this country, anyway?

    Good question. From where I sit, and I follow this very closely, the deep state seems to be in charge and has even intimidated the Attorney General. It’s most disconcerting.

    For quite a while I believed the “deep state” was an overreaction to those in the establishment who were still in place. Not anymore. Thanks, GWW.

    • #22
  23. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    The problem is, discussing this stuff without charts, timelines and other visual stuff is never going to allow you to get enough of what is going on. 

    The other thing is, DOJ has a hell of a lot of power but it was created by statute, not constitutionally. It is under Congress and Trump, with no exceptions except impeaching Trump. 

    • #23
  24. BalticSnowTiger Inactive
    BalticSnowTiger
    @BalticSnowTiger

    Jim George (View Comment):

    @susanquinn, I was just starting to type up my notes from my study of the transcript before Judge Ellis last Friday when I saw your excellent and thoughtful and thought provoking piece about this train wreck happening right before our very eyes and will offer more comprehensive comments once I finish that analysis. However, for the present, and also taking a stab a the point raised by @rufusrjones, I assume the second scope memo to which he refers is the one which was discussed right at the end of last Friday’s hearing in Judge Ellis’ Court, a point brought up by Manafort’s attorney, Kevin M. Downing (who did, by the way, an absolutely phenomenal job in his arguments and, in my humble opinion, ran circles around the attorney representing the Special Counsel, who happens to be the Deputy Solicitor General of the U.S.!) who asked the Judge to order, in addition to the unredacted version of the August 2, 2017 “scope letter”, the “memo record”, as he referred to it, that he assumed Rosenstein had dictated into the record to justify the reasons for expanding the jurisdiction of the Special Counsel. I do not know, but assume that’s what is being referred to, and that one could really be pure dynamite as it was almost certainly never intended to see the light of day, which apparently could describe practically everything the Dept. of [in]Justice does these days.

    Like you, I am more disappointed in Jeff Sessions than I can express and I really do believe, as much as I personally hate to have to say it, the President should fire him and he seems incapable of standing up to Rosenstein, for some really inexplicable reason. Rosenstein should definitely be fired–yesterday.

    I hope to be back in this conversation after I finish my piece, which I hope you and our other colleagues might find in some small way helpful, at least in understanding the dramatic events in Judge Ellis’ Court last Friday.

    Sincerely, Jim

     

    Is there a transcript available? When may we read your note?

     

     

    • #24
  25. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    ‘As you think about the importance of separation of powers on Law Day here, any reaction to news that certain members of the House Freedom Caucus have talked about drafting Articles of Impeachment despite your best efforts to comply with their document requests?’

    Rosenstein had to pause to laugh before he could move on to answering the question.

    ‘They can’t even resist leaking their own drafts,’ he said, then paused again as the entire audience joined his continued guffawing at Congress.’

    That passage from the article referred to a “question” from CNN.

    Would any reporter ever assume “your best efforts to comply” when dealing with somebody who was not advancing leftism?

    BTW, who is Rosenstein to mock leaks?

    • #25
  26. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: So who is running this country, anyway?

    Good question. From where I sit, and I follow this very closely, the deep state seems to be in charge and has even intimidated the Attorney General. It’s most disconcerting.

    Agreed. Who’s running the country? The Swamp Things … just like always. Although the water level is lower now, so you can see the surface roil as they move.

    • #26
  27. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    We are reaching a breaking point.

    What makes you think so? Is there some combination of conditions that leads you to believe that? I’m desperate here so just pick anything–well, not exactly anything . . .

    Susan,

    Rosenstein’s slow-walking of information released to Congress is baloney. This is one-man thumbing his nose at Congress and he’s enjoying it. There are no legal reasons for this to continue. They are holding the Presidency hostage by political threat and nothing else. They will scream if their extra special Mueller magic man can’t continue his idiot investigation. They are gambling to stall it until the mid-terms.

    The scope of the investigation has been transgressed a long time ago. The magical secret scope Mueller is claiming is crap. Stormy is a distraction that Rudy stumbled over, he must be a little senile by now. Nunes must have a temperature of 105 by now. I don’t blame him.

    Put a boot in Session’s ass to put a boot in Rosenstein’s ass to shut this thing down. This investigation is about as real as the Iran Deal.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #27
  28. BalticSnowTiger Inactive
    BalticSnowTiger
    @BalticSnowTiger

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    BalticSnowTiger (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    BalticSnowTiger (View Comment):
    Remain calm, his condescension renders him toast already. He simply does not know or feel it, yet.

    Are you suggesting that when all is said and done, he will be properly dealt with? How much more damage will he do in the meantime, @balticsnowtiger?

    His activities render him ineligible for promotion, so much seems certain. Within a good year he seems to have made more enemies on the right side of the Hill than Gonzales gathered by simply doing his job for the then President in years or decent Bill Smith for nominating O’Connor to the Supremes against O’Neill and Evil Red Ted.

    After the ’18 midterms end with the House up by 4 and the Senate by 5 if not 6, Sessions will find a nice serviced garden retirement and the new, young conservative AG will ask the President to allow him to bring in his new team. Confirmation sails through and Rosenstein finds a friendly, accommodating Wall Street law firm for a few winters and then sees clearly that neither Pennsylvania politics offers any path to him, no agency post is at hand and when Pence, or Hailey or Cotton follow Trump’s second term he becomes very stale toast.

    Overreach and condescension especially without the merit even Patton had cast a long-lasting shadow.

    I so appreciate this picture!! And it seems plausible, if everything falls into place. Not everyone would agree with your 2018 predictions, though.

    Whilst I am not a betting men for lack of any clairvoyance as most of us mere humans, I shall be gladly held accountable for this publicly uttered hunch: The wager should you decide to accept it shall be for one case of proper Weihenstephan Weizenbier or Pilsener Urquell to you if numbers in the House and the Senate fail to move up. Numbers for our forces of freedom go up, the case is mine. If required to suit your taste, we can find Malvasia or Barolo equivalents.

    • #28
  29. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Thanks, GWW

    Wouldn’t the short form be AuH20W? Yours has the value of being shorter, mine is more historical.

    To the topic at hand I find it just amkes more sense if you call it the Department of (in)Justice.

    Been that way since Eric Holder let the New Black Panthers (no relation to the super hero) off the hook.

    Of course, until recently, the media and the left (but I repeat myself) thought the same, at least until Mueller was appointed.

    • #29
  30. MichaelHenry Inactive
    MichaelHenry
    @MichaelHenry

    SQ: You are absolutely correct to zero in on Rod Rosenstein. He’s in the middle of everything in the Russia collusion insanity. I’m sure he was one of the “senior department officials” Sessions consulted with before recusing himself. Rosenstein drafted the memo for the President outlining in great detail why Comey should be fired. Rosenstein appointed Mueller with a vague, open ended authorization to investigate “links and/or coordination between the Russian government” and the Trump campaign. Now Rosenstein refuses to produce the “scope” memo he provided Mueller. Part of Rosenstein’s job is to control the scope of Mueller’s investigation, and so far, he has failed miserably.

    • #30

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