Category Archives: Deep State

Happy Sunday: Mueller report finds no Trump/Russia collusion nor that President Trump committed crimes

Breaking report from Twitchy. There is a tweet in the Twitchy link to the letter that the DoJ sent to the Judiciary Committee.

There was never a doubt in my mind that President Trump colluded or committed a crime. I did doubt whether or not Mueller could complete an unbiased investigation.

And now we know.

Happy Sunday demorats!

DCG

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Democrats on House Intelligence Committee took down FISA memo

On February 2, 2018, the House Intelligence Committee (HIC) released the notorious FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ) memo after President Trump declassified it.

The memo says:

  • The Obama Administration’s FBI and DOJ used the unverified and wholly fictitious Russian dossier to successfully obtain from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court surveillance warrants on Trump and members of his campaign team — which makes the surveillance UNLAWFUL and ILLEGAL.

Note: The Russian dossier, including the wholly fictitious “golden shower” account, was concocted by ex-MI6 spook Christopher Steele, who was hired by “opposition research” company Fusion GPS that, in turn, had been commissioned by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

  • Senior law enforcement officials testified during a closed classified session to the HIC, that without the unsubstantiated and wholly-ficitious “Russian dossier” on then-candidate Donald Trump, they would not have been able to obtain at least one surveillance warrant for a member of the Trump campaign.
  • The Obama Administration used Fusion GPS and Steele as part of an active campaign to “brief” (i.e., lie) major media outlets.
  • Steele was no impartial researcher. In September 2016, Steele said to then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”

But after Americans elected Democrats to a majority in the House of Representatives in last year’s midterm elections, the House Intelligence Committee, with crazy-eye Adam Schiff (D-CA) as chair, has taken down the FISA memo.

The link to the FISA memo on the House Intelligence Committee website now leads to a blank page. See for yourself: https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/memo_and_white_house_letter.pdf

Fortunately, netizens had saved and uploaded the FISA memo to ScribD, and I’ve saved it to FOTM.

Here’s the 4-page FISA memo:

See also “Rep. Devin Nunes is preparing criminal referrals re. FBI & FISA to Attorney General Barr“.

~Eowyn

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Rep. Devin Nunes is preparing criminal referrals re. FBI & FISA to Attorney General Barr

Is this another false hope?

A criminal referral or recommendation is a notice to a prosecutory body, recommending criminal investigation or prosecution of one or more entities for crimes which fall into that body’s jurisdiction.

In the U.S. federal government, agencies that investigate crimes — including the House Intelligence Committee — typically refer cases to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for prosecution at its discretion. The U.S. attorney general heads the DOJ.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), 45, is a farmer with a Master’s degree in agriculture from Cal Poly, who became a politician. His grandparents were immigrants from the Azores, a tiny group of islands more than 800 miles off the coast of Portugal. (See “The Devin Nunes You Don’t Know“)

Nunes is that rare politician who has not sought to exploit his public office for financial gain. Unlike corrupt politicians like Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee with a 2015 net worth of $3.5 million, Nunes’ net worth in 2016 and 2015 was estimated at only $158,001. (Heavy.com)

Congressman Nunes was the chair of the House Intelligence Committee for four years until January 3, 2019. He lost the chairmanship because Americans in the 2018 midterm elections voted a Democratic majority to the House of Representatives. Since then, Nunes still serves on the committee as the senior Republican.

On January 30, 2019, during an interview on Fox News, Nunes said he plans to make criminal referrals as part of an investigation into political bias in the FBI, and that even though he is no longer chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and Democrats have taken control of the House and the committee, that won’t stop GOP investigators from making headway:

“A lot of people think just because Republicans are out of power that we are not conducting an investigation. We still are. Whether or not people will come in and interview with us, we don’t have gavels, we don’t have subpoena power. But we will still be trying to interview people and we will still be making criminal referrals.”

One person who has already been criminally referred to the Justice Department was former UK spook Christopher Steele, the  author of the fake “Russian hooker” Trump dossier. Steele was criminally referred in January 2018 by then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and now-committee chair Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who succeeded Grassley.

Nunes said on January 30 that to this day Congress has not heard any updates from the DOJ on the Steele referral. Referring to Trump’s AG nominee William Barr, Nunes said it will take a new attorney general to come in and “clean” up before any real progress can be made. (Washington Examiner)

On February 14, 2019, Trump nominee William Barr succeeded Jeff Sessions as the 85th U.S. attorney general.

See Deplorable Patriot’s post, “Attorney General William Barr jumps into the fire“.

On March 1, 2019, at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), Nunes told OANN (0:30 mark):

“We’re still continuing to get to the bottom of what was happening to the Department of Justice and the FBI, trying to make sure that everyone there is held accountable…either through the courts or otherwise…. We’ll be making criminal referrals on a whole host of topics, most importantly probably lying and misleading Congress.”

Five days later, on March 6, 2019, Nunes once again said he’ll be making criminal referrals. He told Fox News’ Sean Hannity (0:03 mark):

We are preparing a criminal referral that we will present to the attorney general at the appropriate time…for many crimes. The obvious ones that you would know about would be lying to Congress. But we will also be looking at FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] abuse and all the other matters that we have been looking into. It will probably be one large referral….

We’re probably going to be prepared in the next two to three, four weeks — one of the things that’s coming up. So don’t mind all the shiny balls that you see running around Congress here — the so-called new investigations [by current House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA)]. Just ignore that.

What you should be out looking for is next week. On March 14, the federal judge down in Florida has ordered the release of depositions by Christopher Steele, who is supposedly the author of the dossier, and David Kramer, who pled the Fifth to this committee. who we know was handling and moving the dossier around to press outlets…. We [House Intelligence Commitee] had not ever interviewed Christopher Steele, and we don’t know what David Kramer would say because he pled the Fifth. So this could be critical. It may be nothing, but it could be critical for our referral. “

Note: David J. Kramer was nominated by President George W. Bush to be U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, which he was from 2008 to January 20, 2009. Kramer is currently the senior director for human rights and human freedoms at the (John) McCain Institute, which is funded by the Saudis, Rothschilds, and George Soros. Kramer is a central player in how the fake Trump dossier made its way to the FBI in late 2016. He has invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify in connection with questions from the House Intelligence Committee about the anti-Trump dossier’s alleged Russian sources. (Fox News)

Sean Hannity said at the end of his interview with Rep. Nunes (2:16 mark):

“Finally, things are happening, which I’ve been telling you it will.”

Do you believe, too, that things are finally happening?

See also:

~Eowyn

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Muller Swallows Wrong Man

WARNING: May Cause Indigestion!

Unlike eating a nice tasty corrupt lawyer, some victims may cause injury, and in some cases, death.

Note to Deep State: You just gave a national platform to a man who has the goods on you.

When this man talks, he will tell all about the Hillary Clinton email scandal. He and Jerome Corsi will blow the lid off the secrets of the globalist cabal that has been destroying America since the JFK assassination. And because CNN and the main stream media will be looking on gleefully expecting to see constitutionalists thrown to the lions, the whole world will hear his case against you.

Nothing you take for heartburn and acid reflux will make you feel better.


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Donna Brazile’s cryptic “President Pelosi” tweet and rumors of plot to assassinate Trump

Donna Brazile, 59, is a Democrat apparatchik, Al Gore’s presidential campaign manager in 2000, and the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee in Spring 2011 and, again, during the 2016 presidential campaign when she deliberately sabotaged Hillary Clinton’s rival, Bernie Sanders. See:

On January 18, 2019, Brazile posted this curious tweet (archived here), with a short time-frame reference:

#MadamSpeaker today
#PresidentPelosi shortly thereafter
#MLKWeekend is underway
Keep Hope Alive!

According to the 1947 Presidential Succession Act, if a sitting U.S. president is incapacitated, the line of presidential succession is:

  1. Vice President
  2. Speaker of the House of Representatives
  3. President pro-tempore of the Senate
  4. Eligible heads of federal executive departments who form the president’s Cabinet.

This means House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could only succeed as president if President Trump and Vice President Pence were both incapacitated, as in assassinated.

Rumors began to fly across the Alternative Media when netizens put together Brazile’s curious January 18 tweet and President Trump’s banning of Pelosi’s planned overseas trip a day before, on January 17.

As an example, here’s a series of tweets posted by netizen Greg Rubini:

why Nancy Pelosi was so eager to fly away from the country? with other 92 persons (Dem reps, +families) +a lot of luggage?

why on a Military plane? why Pelosi wanted to personally select the crew of the Military airplane?

Nancy wanted to be sure to have “Pelosi allied” Military guys as crew, perhaps?

why Pelosi first stop was Bruxelles – NATO headquarters?

“the Pelosi delegation planned to meet NATO commanders, US Military leaders” “and key allies”

Key allies = Soros cabal Merkel (Germany). Rothschild cabal Macron (France), DeepState cabal (UK) EU boozey Juncker

why was also [Rep.] Adam Schiff [D-CA] on that trip?

“prior to the John F. Kennedy assassination in Nov 1963, the Entire Cabinet was flown to Tokyo, Japan.” “at the time of the JFK assassination, the Entire Cabinet was out of the country”

-same pattern with Pelosi and Adam Schiff? -preparing a new Nancy Pelosi Cabinet?

why Pelosi wanted to fly away at all costs?

why Pelosi wanted to fly away with Adam Schiff, plus other 6 Dem congressmen, plus 85 family members?

during a Gov’t shutdown? isn’t it weird?

is this a DeepState plot to assassinate Trump and Pence and replace them with Nancy Pelosi as President of the USA ?

we know from a trusted source – Dr. Dave Janda – that there have been “a dozen of assassination attempts on President Trump” cc: Dr. Janda

In light of Brazile’s January 18 “PresidentPelosi” tweet, Roger Stone’s January 18 warning of a deep state coup to remove President Trump now makes sense. Stone is a GOP consultant and advisor to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

As reported by InfoWars‘ Paul Joseph Watson:

Political strategist Roger Stone says that the deep state is planning to remove both President Trump and VP Mike Pence from office so that they can install Nancy Pelosi as President as part of a coup that will eventually see Hillary Clinton return as President.

“The deep state seeks to fabricate some misdeed by the Trump campaign that is sold as Russian collusion,” said Stone.

“That way they can remove both Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, paving the way for Nancy Pelosi to become president.”

“Pelosi will then appoint Hillary Clinton to the vacant Vice Presidency after which Pelosi would resign as president allowing Hillary to take the White House which alluded [sic] her grasp in 2016.”

UPDATE (Jan. 25, 2019):

A day after I published this post, and a week after Roger Stone sent out the alert, in the pre-dawn darkness this morning, a team of FBI and SWAT agents raided Stone’s home in Miami, Florida and arrested him on multiple charges “as part of the ongoing special counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller.” (Blabber Buzz)

Meanwhile, the real criminals (Hillary Clinton, et al.) remain at large.

~Eowyn

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Hypocrite: James Comey discussed sensitive FBI business on private email

Shocker, not. Seemed this was SOP for members of Obama’s administration.

From NY Post: Fired FBI chief James Comey used his private Gmail account hundreds of times to conduct government business — and at least seven of those messages were deemed so sensitive by the Justice Department that they declined to release them.

The former top G-man repeatedly claimed he only used his private account for “incidental” purposes and never for anything that was classified — and that appears to be true.

But Justice acknowledged in response to a Freedom of Information request that Comey and his chief of staff discussed government business on about 1,200 pages of messages, 156 of which were obtained by The Post.

The Cause of Action Institute, a conservative watchdog group, filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit for Comey’s Gmail correspondence involving his work for the bureau.

The Justice Department responded that there were an eye-popping 1,200 pages of messages for Comey and his chief of staff that met the criteria.

Justice released 156 of them but refused to hand over seven emails because they would “disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions.” And another 363 pages of emails were withheld because they discussed privileged agency communications or out of personal privacy concerns.

Cause of Action’s CEO slammed the former top G-man for minimizing the work he did using his private account. “Using private email to conduct official government business endangers transparency and accountability, and that is why we sued the Department of Justice,” said John Vecchione.

“We’re deeply concerned that the FBI withheld numerous emails citing FOIA’s law enforcement exemption. This runs counter to Comey’s statements that his use of email was incidental and never involved any sensitive matters.

In one email on Oct. 7, 2015, Comey seems to recognize the hypocrisy of the FBI investigating Hillary Clinton’s email practices while he’s exchanging FBI info on his own private account because his government account was down.

Two days after complaining that his “mobile is not sending emails,” Comey asked an aide that the testimony he was to deliver to the Senate be sent on his private account — calling it an “embarrassing” situation.

“He [aide] will need to send to personal email I suppose,” Comey wrote. “Embarrassing for us.”

Lisa Rosenberg, executive director of Open the Government, a nonpartisan coalition that advocates for government transparency, said Comey’s practice of using personal email while investigating Clinton reeks of a double standard.

“It’s just so transparently hypocritical to have one standard for a person you are investigating and an entirely different standard for yourself when you are the one who’s enforcing the law,” Rosenberg said.

The inspector general at Justice previously slammed Comey for using his personal account for FBI business, saying it was “inconsistent” with government policy. But Comey claimed his private email use was “incidental” and only used for word processing a “public speech or public email.” He said he wasn’t sending “anything remotely classified” on Gmail and that his use was “a totally different thing” from Clinton’s.

Experts told The Post there was a clear disconnect between what Comey said he was using his personal email for and what the Justice Department concluded he was doing after vetting his emails.

If the Justice Department accurately withheld his emails for the legal reasons cited, Comey would have been talking about substantive government business and active law enforcement matters. “He can’t have it both ways,” Rosenberg said.

“Either he used his personal email for things that were public or would be in the public domain, or he used it to discuss internal policies, investigations, etc. that might or might not be appropriately withheld under FOIA.”

A rep for Comey said he had no comment.

The 156 email pages that were released mark the first wave from Justice, with more expected soon.

The emails obtained by The Post span from 2013 to 2017, and many are heavily redacted.

In the messages, Comey discusses speeches and public statements with his aides and other routine business. There are also emails about pressing concerns like a threat of a mass shooting at a Chicago school in May 2016, changes on his protective detail and helping two American teachers with their visa processes in December 2013.

The emails show that Comey used personal email throughout his investigation into Clinton and even talked about it.

He emailed Sept. 30, 2015, to his then-Chief of Staff James Rybicki, a Fox News article link about Russian hackers trying to access Clinton’s server. “Need to be sure our colleagues across the street don’t think I actually said most of the stuff they attribute to me,” the email said.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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U.S. Army Central signals Q

Q or QAnon is the patriot and Trump White House insider who has been posting cryptic hints and coded messages, which he calls “bread crumbs”, on the 4chan and 8chan AltMedia message boards.

If you don’t know who Q is, see Deplorable Patriot’s “QAnon. The QAnon Movement, Why?” and Neon Revolt‘s long but comprehensive description of the QAnon phenomenon.

The QAnon phenomenon has spawned expressions and slogans such as “The Great Awakening” and “WWG1WGA” (Where We Go One, We Go All) and a large following, some of whom carry Q-signs and wear Q t-shirts to Trump rallies.

Q references in Trump allies eventually compelled the Fake News Hate America MSM to report on the phenomenon, not objectively but with the media’s characteristic negative spin by calling the Q phenomenon a “bizarre” “conspiracy theory taking hold among Trump supporters”.

Calling something a “conspiracy theory” is the Fake News Media’s favorite way of discrediting something, never mind the fact that it was the CIA that coined the expression “conspiracy theory” as a way to discredit any and all questions challenging the government’s narrative.

The irony is that it’s the Fake News Hate America Media who are the real conspiracy. See “There really is a left-wing media conspiracy: Another secret journalist group discovered“.

According to Q, the bulwark on whom President Trump relies against the evildoers and machinations of the Deep State is the U.S. military, including military intelligence.

So it’s no surprise that the military are Q champions.

The U.S. Army Central, formerly the Third U.S. Army, is a military formation of the United States Army, which saw service in World War I and II, the 1991 Gulf War, and in the coalition occupation of Iraq. Best known for its campaigns in World War II under the command of General George S. Patton, it serves as the echelon above corps for the Army component of CENTCOM (US Central Command).

As it describes itself, U.S. Army Central currently functions as America’s land domain experts in the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia – providing continuous oversight and control of Army operations throughout the region. It is headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, with approximately 600 assigned Soldiers. Army Central has a forward element at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, with approximately 20,000 assigned and attached soldiers.

@usarmycentral is official twitter handle of U.S. Army Central, Shaw AFB, Sumter, SC.

Below is U.S. Army Central’s tweet yesterday, Oct. 29, with a pic of soldiers making a Q!

If the formation of soldiers were signifying 10:30, it would look like this:

WWG1WGA!

See also “Sen. Lindsey Graham’s curious questions to Judge Kavanaugh on military tribunals for U.S. citizens” .

~Eowyn

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Top FBI lawyer James Baker flips; says Russia investigation politically biased

The White House insider known as Q or Q Anon has been hinting at an imminent political turning point he calls “Red October”.

Yesterday afternoon came news that the FBI has completed investigating Brett Kavanaugh, the agency’s 7th investigation of the judge, and a full Senate vote is expected this weekend.

Today was the deadline for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to hand in McCabe, FISA and Russian investigation documents subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee.

Add this to hopeful signs of a “Red October”.

Catherine Herridge reports for Fox News that former top FBI lawyer James Baker gave “explosive” closed-door testimony yesterday, Oct. 3, detailing for congressional investigators how Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe was handled in an “abnormal fashion” reflecting “political bias,” according to two Republican lawmakers present for the deposition — Rep. Mark Meadows (North Carolina) and Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio).

James A. Baker, who as General Counsel of the FBI had a close working relationship with former FBI Director James Comey and was a recipient of at least one Comey memo, resigned from the bureau in May this year.

Meadows and Jordan would not provide many specifics about the private transcribed interview of James Baker, citing a confidentiality agreement with Baker and his attorneys. However, the two Congressmen indicated in broad terms that Baker was cooperative and forthcoming about the genesis of the Russia case in 2016, and about the FISA surveillance warrant application for Trump campaign aide Carter Page in October 2016.

Rep. Mark Meadows said, “Some of the things that were shared were explosive in nature. This witness [Baker] confirmed that things were done in an abnormal fashion. That’s extremely troubling.” Indeed, Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who opened the Russia case, FBI lawyer Lisa Page and others had sent politically charged texts, and have since left the bureau.

Rep. Jim Jordan said, “During the time that…DOJ and FBI were putting together the FISA (surveillance warrant)…prior to the election — there was another source giving information directly to the FBI, which we found the source to be pretty explosive.”

Meadows and Jordan would not elaborate on the source, or answer questions about whether the source was a reporter. They did stress that the source who provided information to the FBI’s Russia case was not previously known to congressional investigators.

Baker is at the heart of surveillance abuse allegations, and his deposition lays the groundwork for next week’s planned closed-door interview with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Baker, as the FBI’s top lawyer, helped secure the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on Page, as well as three subsequent renewals. Prior to the deposition, Republican investigators said they believed Baker could explain why information about Christopher Steele (the British ex-spy behind the concocted Trump-“golden shower” dossier) and Steele’s apparent bias against then-candidate Trump, was withheld from the FISA court, and whether other exculpatory information was known to Rosenstein when he signed the final FISA renewal for Page in June 2017.

For his part, Rosenstein is expected on Capitol Hill on Oct. 11 for a closed-door interview. It comes after the New York Times reported last month that he’d discussed secretly recording President Trump in order to remove him from office using the 25th Amendment.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Wednesday the meeting between Rosenstein and President Trump remains in limbo: “If there’s a meeting, we’ll let you know. But at this point, they continue to work together and both show up every day and do their jobs.”

See also:

~Eowyn

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House Judiciary Committee subpoenas AG Sessions for McCabe, FISA and Russian investigation documents

A week ago on September 27, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) subpoenaed Attorney General Jeff Sessions for three documents. The deadline for Sessions to produce those documents is tomorrow.

In his letter notifying Sessions of the subpoena, Goodlatte wrote:

Given the [Justice] Department’s ongoing delays and/or refusal to produce these documents, I am left with no choice but to issue the enclosed subpoena to compel their production.

The Subpoena states that on October 4, 2018, at 12:00 p.m., Sessions is “hereby commanded to be and appear before the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives” to produce three documents “in un-redacted form”:

(1) The McCabe Memos: “All documents and communications” written by former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe “to memorialize discussions, meetings, or correspondence he had with senior government officials, including the President of the United States.

The McCabe Memos include:

  • Real-time debriefs from former FBI Director James Comey after his meetings with Trump.
  • A memo on the May 16, 2017 meeting where Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein allegedly suggested he would wear a wire to secretly tape President Trump, which would then be used to enlist Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. McCabe and former FBI counsel Lisa Page were among several people in the room. (Fox News)

Note: Michael Bromwich, who is now an attorney representing Christine Blasey Ford, Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, was Andrew McCabe’s attorney.

(2) The Woods File: includes (a) the application for a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) order authorizing surveillance on Carter Page; and (b) “any document concerning or relating to any attempt to verify the accuracy of any alleged facts stated in the FISA applications for Mr. Page.”

Carter Page is a petroleum industry consultant and a former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. He has been a focus of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation into alleged links between Trump and Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.

(3) Russian interference: “All documents and communications shared with the Gang of Eight in May 2018 related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

On May 24, 2018, FBI and Justice Department officials briefed the bipartisan group of lawmakers known as the “Gang of 8” on classified documents related to Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia investigation. The “Gang of 8” are:

  1. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
  2. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Majority Leader.
  3. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
  4. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Leader.
  5. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Speaker.
  6. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee.
  7. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader.
  8. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

H/t maziel

See also:

~Eowyn

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Why Trump won’t fire Rod Rosenstein

Rod Rosenstein, 53, a Republican, is the rat-face whom President Trump, on February 1, 2017, nominated to be the Justice Department’s Deputy Attorney General, and whom the Senate quickly confirmed on April 25, 2017.

The next month, in May 2017, Rosenstein authored a memo which President Trump said was the basis of his decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey. Rosenstein then appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election and related matters. Rosenstein also approved the raids on the home, office and hotel room of Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

The Deputy Attorney General is a political appointee of the President of the United States and takes office after confirmation by the Senate. According to the DOJ website:

The Deputy Attorney General advises and assists the Attorney General in formulating and implementing Departmental policies and programs and in providing overall supervision and direction to all organizational units of the Department. The Deputy Attorney General is authorized to exercise all the power and authority of the Attorney General, except where such power or authority is prohibited by law from delegation or has been delegated to another official. In the absence of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General acts as the Attorney General.

Five days ago on Sept. 21, The New York Times reported that shortly after the dismissal of Comey, Rosenstein grew concerned about Trump’s fitness for office. Rosenstein suggested he could wear a wire to secretly tape conversations between himself and Trump, then use those recordings against the President by  invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. The 25th Amendment provides for the removal of a sitting president if he or she is judged unfit to carry out the duties of the office.

Rosenstein strongly denied it, saying he was just being sarcastic in his reference to taping Trump. In response, Trump said he wasn’t sure what the deputy AG’s fate would be.

Two days ago, conservatives got all elated by talk of Rosenstein having resigned or being fired:

  • Citing sources, Axios reported that Rosenstein had anticipated being fired by President Trump, so he told White House chief of staff John Kelly he was resigning.
  • Bloomberg said Rosenstein actually had resigned and that his resignation had been accepted.
  • Pete Williams of NBC News, however, said Rosenstein was not going to resign but was on his way to the White House for a showdown to force Team Trump to fire him.

But the chatter all came to nothing. We are told that Rosenstein had not resigned and that he will meet with President Trump tomorrow.

That Rosenstein still has a job despite his plotting against Trump adds to conservatives’ frustration. Many of us repeatedly have asked why Trump hasn’t  and seemingly won’t fire swamp creatures like Rosenstein.

Bob Fredericks of the New York Post briefly explained why:

Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Trump has the power to appoint an acting AG if it’s a resignation. If he is fired, the process is murkier and governed by federal employment laws.

So I looked into this. Here is what I found.

To begin, firing federal workers is very difficult.

In an article for Politifact, Angie Drobnic Holan describes the process for firing or even disciplining federal government workers as “cumbersome” and “difficult”.

Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University, said that out of a federal workforce of 1.86 million, “Very few federal employees — in the hundreds, not the thousands — are ever fired on the basis of poor performance. If you want to fire an employee, you’re taking on a task that is very intense and difficult, and biased in favor of protecting employees, and it can take a year or more to complete.

Don Kettl, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, agreed that it’s too hard to fire poor performers and that few experts who study the issue would disagree: “The federal civil service is hamstrung by antiquated rules. We need to make it easier to fire poor performers.”

John Palguta of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit that advocates for an improved federal workforce, said that when an employee is fired, there are a number of appeals processes available to fight a termination. Some of those processes probably could be streamlined, while keeping in place rules designed to protect employees from partisan politics because “It’s not supposed to be easy to fire federal workers for the wrong reasons.”

In 1999, when the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) undertook a study of poor-performing federal employees, the researchers had a difficult time even finding a statistically-significant sample of supervisors who had attempted to take action against a poor performer. The 42 supervisors whom the researchers found said it was hard to fire workers because of a lack of support from upper management, varying quality in technical guidance for completing the process, and reluctance to devote the time and energy needed to complete the cumbersome process. Many bosses got discouraged and gave up. The OPM report said:

Interviewees found the investment of time and energy required over an extremely long period to be daunting. This was compounded by the stress resulting from the employee’s counter-charges, grievances, accusations, appeals, general hostility and attempts to subvert the supervisor. One described the documentation required as ‘horrendous.’

In contrast, if a federal employee who is a presidential appointee resigns or quits, the President immediately can appoint a person to the vacated office “in an acting capacity” until a replacement candidate is nominated and confirmed.

According to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, if an officer of an executive government agency that requires presidential appointment with Senate confirmation (such as deputy attorney general of the Justice Department) dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to perform office functions, the President is authorized to appoint a person temporarily to serve in the vacated office in an acting capacity for a period of 150 days, during which time the President is expected to nominate a replacement, with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The Federal Vacancies Reform Act makes no mention of what happens when an officer of an executive government agency that requires presidential appointment with Senate confirmation is fired. But common sense says that the very fact that Congress enacted this Act, to address cases when the federal appointee resigns, presumes that the procedure would be different if the appointee is fired.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Trump had to be warned by aides back in April not to fire Rosenstein. Others, such as Sean Hannity, also advised Trump against firing Rosenstein, claiming that such a move would open Trump to being impeached. Whatever the reason, despite, as NewsMax puts it, Rosenstein being “a frequent target of the president’s wrath,” the Federal Vacancies Reform Act makes clear why Rosenstein’s resignation would be preferable to him being fired.

~Eowyn

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