White House says there will be breaking news on Deputy AG #Rosenstein (Special Counsel Mueller’s boss) between 2pm and 4pm EST today.
— Alice Stollmeyer (@StollmeyerEU) April 13, 2018
Though the constant stream of security advisers fleeing the arrival of new national security adviser John Bolton may have made it seem like Friday all week, this is actually Friday. And Friday is the traditional day for Trump to vent his petty rage and try and end the Russia investigation before he takes to the links. The target of Trump’s attempts this week is expected to be Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Rosenstein has shared his acceptance of an event that’s starting to seem very, very likely.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has struck a stoic and righteous tone in private conversations he has had this week about the fate of his job as President Donald Trump has launched public criticism against him and considered firing him, according to three sources who have spoken to Rosenstein.
And Rosenstein has been using a phrase that has more than one meaning.
In those conversations, he has repeated the phrase, “Here I stand,” a reference to Martin Luther’s famous quote, “Here I stand, I can do no other.” Coincidentally, former FBI Director James Comey, whom Rosenstein fired, repeated the same phrase to President George W. Bush in a conversation that has been widely reported and that Comey describes in his forthcoming book.
Or maybe not coincidentally. But in any case, getting rid of Rosenstein is step one in the plan to either fire special counsel Robert Mueller, or so hinder his investigation that it becomes pointless.
Donald Trump may have hand-picked Rod Rosenstein, but he’s been ready to pull the Deputy AG ever since Rosenstein first appointed Mueller. Firing Rosenstein would’t immediately end the investigation, but it would prevent Mueller from seeking additional authority—as in the case of going after Paul Manafort’s money laundering—and make it difficult for Mueller to move on items like the raid on Trump attorney Michael Cohen.
The raid on Cohen is clearly the immediate cause of any action Donald Trump takes today, but firing Rosenstein has been supported by many Trump supporters from Steve Bannon to Devin Nunes. Taking Rosenstein out of his seat would allow Trump to substitute someone who will fire Mueller, or have someone ready to catch (and bury) Mueller’s final report.
Rosenstein may be ready to go, but that doesn’t make his departure a good thing.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning that Rosenstein was perhaps more conflicted than Mueller because he “signed FISA and Comey letter,” referring to the authorization for surveillance of former Trump campaign operative Carter Page as well as the memo that fired James Comey.
Be ready. Follow the news closely this afternoon, and look to Mueller firing rapid response.