Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s future in the administration appeared to hang in the balance Friday as competing predictions made the rounds in Washington.
Trump transition team official Rob Wasinger, for example, told Breitbart News he thought President Donald Trump would fire Rosenstein soon. Fox News’s Chad Pergram, meanwhile, cited a source claiming that if President Trump does decide to fire Rosenstein, it will not be immediately:
Fox has learned that from sources familiar with the President's thinking there are no plans to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein“tonight” or at least in the near future. When queried, sources noted that did not preclude Rosenstein from being fired down the road.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 13, 2018
The speculation took on a new dimension Friday as an unnamed congressman reportedly prepared impeachment articles against Rosenstein and a Democrat vowed to do the same for President Donald Trump if Rosenstein goes.
Pegram also tweeted Friday that articles of impeachment for Rosenstein had already been drafted:
Fox has learned that articles of impeachment have been drafted for Rosenstein..though not filed. It is not clear which lawmaker drafted the articles…or if they would go anywhere in cmte or on the flr
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 13, 2018
The author and other details are still sparse but Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) had said he would consider impeachment for Rosenstein over his alleged “slow-walking” of certain FBI and DOJ documents he and other congressional Republicans have requested.
Meanwhile, Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) promised impeachment articles for President Trump should he himself dismiss Rosenstein:
— Rep. Brendan Boyle (@CongBoyle) April 13, 2018
Rosenstein, like most other senior executive officials, serves at the president’s pleasure. Unlike the congressional impeachment route, Trump exercising his constitutional power to dismiss his deputy attorney general does not require a reason. Democrats like Boyle, however, evidently believe that doing so in these circumstances, where Rosenstein oversees Special Counsel Robert Mueller, constitutes obstruction of justice, in itself an impeachable offense.
Another congressional Democrat, Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), believes it is “more likely than not” Mueller, Attorney General Sessions, or Rosenstein will be fired in the “next 48 hours,” according to an email obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF). Breitbart News cannot independently verify the authenticity of this email.
Himes, along with other Democrats and leading leftist organizations, are said to planning to unleash a wave of nationwide street protests if President Donald Trump makes any move to rein in Mueller’s “Russia investigation,” which has expanded to the point of raiding the offices of the president’s lawyer, Micheal Cohen, to investigate the “Access Hollywood tape.”
Democrats, like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), as well as “NeverTrumpers” like failed presidential spoiler and ex-CIA analyst Evan McMullin, scrambled Thursday to equate firing Rosenstein to firing Mueller:
RT if you agree → if Trump fires Mueller or Rosenstein, his reckless actions will ignite a constitutional crisis. He better not.
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) April 12, 2018
The consequences of firing Mr. Rosenstein, Mr. Mueller, or issuing political pardons would be dire for our democracy. We have clear evidence, from @POTUS himself, that each of those things is a real possibility. President Trump basically mused about it on national television.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 12, 2018
Our response to Trump’s firing of Rosenstein or Sessions should be just as forceful as it would be if he fired Mueller. His removal of any of them would be an effort to hold himself above the law, which we can nowise tolerate.
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) April 11, 2018
That theme continues in Himes’ leaked email, where he writes, according to the DCNF, “[T]hat in the next 48 hours, it is more likely than not that the President acts against Attorney General Sessions, Deputy AG Rosenstein, and/or Special Counsel Mueller. His intent will be to end Mueller’s investigation.”
Himes exhorts his local Democratic field organizers to launch “contingency plan” protests in the event Rosenstein is fired. A DCNF source claimed other Democratic reps are doing the same, and documents from the George Soros-funded leftist group MoveOn indicate a “Mueller Firing Rapid Response event” is in the works.
Democrats, so-called “resistance” leftists, and NeverTrumpers have been working for months to establish a “red line” around Robert Mueller that will bring their supporters into the streets or, more legalistically, justify President Trump’s impeachment if Mueller is dismissed.
As speculation about Rosenstein’s dismissal ramped up this week after direct criticism by the president and congressional conservatives, these political factions – who have never, generally, been at a loss for reasons to protest or call for Trump’s impeachment – have moved that line around Rosenstein.
Thursday, after Rosenstein was called to the White House, he missed a scheduled speaking engagement at a major Justice Department-hosted event, perhaps the strongest evidence yet the number two man at DOJ feels he is under threat of dismissal. NBC News added one additional insight Friday when they reported Rosenstein had privately discussed the situation with confidantes and expressed an understanding he may be fired. “Here I stand,” Rosenstein is reported to have repeatedly said.
According to NBC News’s sources, Rosenstein was confident he has acted correctly as deputy attorney general, including when he drafted the memo recommending FBI Director James Comey’s firing and subsequently.