Posted by Curt on 27 October, 2018 at 3:51 pm. 3 comments already!


Terrific article written by Lee Smith at Real Clear Investigations today highlighting a competing leverage dynamic between President Trump and DAG Rod Rosenstein.  One of the reasons the outline is valuable – is specifically because Smith accepts the information ‘as it is‘, as it appears to be, and not as he would wish it to be.  [Read Here]

The result of Smith’s investigative research assembles a compilation of recent events, and discussions from sources within congress, and seems to parallel our own research and most likely conclusions therein.  In summary: there is an ongoing politically motivated ‘battle over leverage‘ between President Trump and Rod Rosenstein.

We have discussed this leverage issue extensively.  However, Smith brings forth a new aspect in the form of the recently filed position of the Rosenstein DOJ as it relates to the declassification of FISA documents.  This new information introduces the position of Rosenstein as likely political ‘push-back‘ against the president and declassification.

As Smith notes the recent DOJ filing infers any attempt to declassify material within the FISA application is tantamount to “obstruction” of the Mueller investigation:

In the 178-page court document, DOJ officials said they had “determined that disclosure of redacted information in the Carter Page FISA documents could reasonably be expected to interfere with the pending investigation into Russian election interference.”

In other words, Rosenstein’s DOJ position is any attempt to declassify the Page FISA documents is interference or obstruction of the Mueller investigation.

This likely Rosenstein/Mueller position is important because it strikes directly at the heart of the declassification conundrum previously outlined. {Go Deep}

Previously we discussed how White House lawyers were very tentative about following President Trump’s declassification request on the basis that two agencies of the executive branch (FBI and DOJ) could, with political motive and intent, advance the argument that President Trump was interfering with the investigation.

In August and September 2018 the issue was: what would happen if the DOJ and FBI refused to follow the directive from the President?

The answer is not legal, it is political.  {Go Deep}

After several weeks of internal debate, in late August/early September the White House seemed to reconcile the legal and political declassification minefield through a view the President’s position to declassify was: the executive branch fulfilling an oversight request from the legislative branch, ie. congress:

As we noted at the time (Sept. 17, 2018)  – The president (WH counsel) is referencing “committee requests”, this is critical because it removes the legal conflict (executive self-interest) within the release; and makes the request a function of legislative branch oversight.

[Additionally, and importantly, the request also called for all of the prior Page/Strzok text messages to be released without redactions.]

However, this decision to declassify also set the stage for a discussion between DAG Rod Rosenstein and President Trump.  Four days after the initial announcement; on September 21st, the President reversed course.

After a conversation between President Trump and DAG Rosenstein the president withdrew the declassification request, and announced that Rosenstein had “agreed to” address the underlying congressional concerns within the pending Inspector General report on FISA abuse:

Read more

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x