August 8, 2018

"'It’s fantastic,' Mr. Trump said about his rapport with Mr. Rosenstein when a spokesman told him The Wall Street Journal was seeking a comment."

"'We have great relationship. Make sure you tell them that.' Mr. Rosenstein declined to comment for this article. In a statement, a Justice Department spokeswoman said he has a 'productive working relationship' with Mr. Trump. As the Mueller investigation proceeds, their relationship may sour. Mr. Trump has consistently called it a 'witch hunt,' and Mr. Rosenstein has said protecting the probe is a priority. But the rapprochement may signal that, despite the president’s public statements, the investigation isn’t in immediate danger of being halted. Senior White House officials privately praise Mr. Rosenstein’s handling of demands by congressional Republicans to share internal documents on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigations of Hillary Clinton’s email server and any Trump campaign contacts with Russia. Some Trump allies—such as Reps. Mark Meadows (R., N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R., Ohio)—accuse Mr. Rosenstein of stonewalling, but White House officials say they view their effort to impeach Mr. Rosenstein as a sideshow. Indeed, the president has recently come to rely on Mr. Rosenstein, the No. 2 at the Justice Department whom the White House increasingly views as the No. 1, given the president’s disenchantment with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation because he served on the Trump campaign...."

From "'It’s Fantastic!' Trump Warms to Rosenstein/Nearly fired by the president, the No. 2 Justice official—the man in charge of the Mueller probe—builds a rapport" in The Wall Street Journal, which seems available without a subscription. I got in anyway.

46 comments:

Henry said...

But the rapprochement may signal that, despite the president’s public statements, the investigation isn’t in immediate danger of being halted.

Crazy idea: What if Trump isn't the subject of the investigation?

Ralph L said...

Fantastic doesn't have to mean good.

Mike Sylwester said...

This is like watching The Survivor reality-television series.

Trump and Rosenstein are "allies".

Lucien said...

President Trump was not being totally facetious?

Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Sylwester said...

Shouldn't Rosenstein have to register as an agent of the Democrat Party?

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

The Trump administration has a few surprises in store for the Democrats. I’ve always found the view that Trump is some helpless Gulliver, beset by the sinister forces on an unstoppable bureaucracy, rather strange. To say that the President of the United States is not without resources would be the wildest of understatements. For every Clapper and Comey there’s a thousand underlings looking for the main chance to get ahead.

Mike Sylwester said...

Whenever Trump and Rosenstein are talking with each other, both of them are secretly recording the conversation.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

The pitfalls of a surveillance state cut both ways. It’s just a question of who has the ability to access the dirt. It’s pretty clear that Democrats had the access, but came up short dirtwise.

cubanbob said...

Going out on a limb here but maybe that US Attorney from Utah has something and it isn't on Trump.

Bruce Hayden said...

Maybe a little OT, but not too much, but things are starting to heat up in regards to Brice Ohr, ADAG under DAG Rosenstein's predecessor, Sally Yates (and probably initially under Rosenstein for a short bit). And Ohr's wife Nellie, who was the Russian expert for Fusion GPS at the same time that Christopher Steele worked for them. Ohr is interesting, because with Strzok being ushered out of the FBI last month, he is the only well known black hat still employed by the DoJ or FBI. Demoted and reassigned, of course, but still employed there. And why would that be? Most likely because the OIG still finds his testimony useful, and it is far easier to get cooperation from employees than former employees.

I haven't seen them yet, but apparently some Ohr related emails or texts were recently leaked, and it is looking more and more like the Ohrs, together, we're being used, together, to funnel FISA 702(USPERS) information back to the Crooked Hillary campaign, via Fusion, after contractor access to that NSA database was shut down by Adm Rogers in 4-5/16. Also, they apparently provided the unofficial conduit between Strzok and the FBI's Counterintelligence Division and Simpson and Steele at Fusion, after the FBI officially severed their connections, due to their lying about interactions with the press. Ohr is probably cooperating because he has Espionage and Hatch Act violations hanging over his head. Should be interesting.

Birkel said...

What if Trump says nice things about people he is trying to influence?

If only such a pattern existed.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

Trump talks like that all the time--it's part of his negotiating strategy. Used as a way to inveigle the other party into a deal.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me further clarify about (formerly) ADAG Bruce Ohr. He was the one DoJ/FBI employee who really couldn't argued that he didn't know that Fusion GPS was being funded by the Crooked Hillary campaign and the DNC. That is because his wife was being paid by them. And, they both personally knew Simpson and Jacoby, the couple owing and running Fusion. This means that pretty much anything that he did with or for Fusion was very likely a Hatch Act violation. And every piece of classified information he passed to his wife or Fusion, which included every piece of FISA 702 acquired data, was very likely an Espionage Act violation. His wife, not being a federal employee, wouldn't be liable for Hatch Act violations, but would be potentially culpable under the Espionage Act for any classified information that she passed on from her husband. Maybe they can get conjugal cells.

Birkel said...

Beat you to it, (eaglebeak) Molly.

Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

From CTH: Suspicions Confirmed: Congress Gets Bruce Ohr Documents Showing “Back Door” Communication Network…

According to Chuck Ross reporting: “Congress recently got a trove of Bruce Ohr emails which include exchanges with Chris Steele and others. Source says emails show that Ohr is more significant player in dossier component of FBI/DOJ investigation than originally thought.”

Additionally, John Soloman has an article at The Hill detailing some of the released communication... Solomon is also saying he will post the leaked documents shortly

"(The Hill) […] They show Bruce Ohr had contact with Steele in the days just before the FBI opened its Trump-Russia probe in summer 2016, and then engaged Steele as a “confidential human source” (CHS) assisting in that probe.
They also confirm that Ohr later became a critical conduit of continuing information from Steele after the FBI ended the Brit’s role as an informant.
“B, doubtless a sad and crazy day for you re- SY,” Steele texted Ohr on Jan. 31, 2017, referencing President Trump’s firing of Sally Yates for insubordination.
Steele’s FBI relationship had been terminated about three months earlier. The bureau concluded on Nov. 1, 2016, that he leaked information to the news media and was “not suitable for use” as a confidential source, memos show.

The FBI specifically instructed Steele that he could no longer “operate to obtain any intelligence whatsoever on behalf of the FBI,” those memos show.
Yet, Steele asked Ohr in the Jan. 31 text exchange if he could continue to help feed information to the FBI: “Just want to check you are OK, still in the situ and able to help locally as discussed, along with your Bureau colleagues.”
“I’m still here and able to help as discussed,” Ohr texted back. “I’ll let you know if that changes.”

Steele replied, “If you end up out though, I really need another (bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can’t allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous.” Investigators are trying to determine who Steele was referring to..."

Mike Sylwester said...

Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller's indictment of 12 Russian Intelligence officers seems to be based on information from a Russian defector who knows a lot about Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) Unit 26165 and Unit 74455. Apparently, such a defector says that Unit 26165 did computer espionage and that Unit 74455 disseminated stolen information. The indictment calls these two units "the Conspirators".

https://www.vox.com/2018/7/13/17568806/mueller-russia-intelligence-indictment-full-text

The indictment says that Unit 26165 began accessing the computers of the Democrat National Committee (DNC) and of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) on about March 15, 2016.

I think that Unit 26165 had been informed by a free-lance hacker -- someone like the Romanian "Guccifer" -- that those computers contained much discussion about FBI contractors searching the NSA database for information about Republican politicians, in particular about Donald Trump. Unit 26165 would have paid the freelance hacke for the tip and then would have used it own, greater resources to study those computers for such discussions.

Unit 26165 was not interested in the Democratic Party's office politics. Rather, Unit 26165 was interested in the discussions about the searches of the NSA database.

The indictment alleges that the Conspirators concocted an imaginary hacker called "Guccifer 2.0" who would be blamed for the Conspirators' own evil hacking and leaking.

However, Guccifer 2.0 is a real, Romanian, hacker, not a GRU conction. Furthermore, Guccifer 2.0 actually had hacked into the Democrats' computers, independently from the Conspirators.

The indictment's pages 14-15 (beginning at paragraph 40) misinterpret a key event.

On June 15, 2016, the Conspirators in Unit 74455 did a Google search for some expressions that appeared in an Internet boast of Guccifer 2.0 that he himself had hacked the Democrats' computer. In particular, the Conspirators of Unit 74455 searched the Internet for the following expressions:

* some hundred sheets

* some hundreds of sheets

* dcleaks

* illuminati

* worldwide known

* think twice about

* company's competence

The indictment's explanation of this Google search is incoherent.

It seems to me that Unit 74455 searched for those expressions in order to find all the places on the Internet where the boast of "Guccifer" was appearing. Therefore, Guccifer 2.0 was not the Consirators' concoction, but rather was an actual freelance hacker known to the Conspirators.

Mike Sylwester said...

Opinion: How a senior DOJ official helped Dem researchers on Trump-Russia case

by John Solomon

Hundreds of pages of previously unreported emails and memos provide the clearest evidence yet that a research firm, hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to find dirt on and defeat Donald Trump, worked early and often with the FBI, a Department of Justice (DOJ) official and the intelligence community during the 2016 presidential election and the early days of Trump's presidency.

Fusion GPS's work and its involvement with several FBI officials have been well reported.

But a close review of these new documents shows just how closely Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, who reported to Obama-era Deputy AG Sally Yates, maintained contact with Fusion — and, in particular, its primary source, former British spy Christopher Steele — before, during and after the election.

[the article continues and includes newly available documents]

http://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/400810-opinion-how-a-senior-justice-official-helped-dems-on-trump-russia-case

Kathryn51 said...

Bruce Hayden said...
Let me further clarify about (formerly) ADAG Bruce Ohr. He was the one DoJ/FBI employee who really couldn't argued that he didn't know that Fusion GPS was being funded by the Crooked Hillary campaign and the DNC.

All roads lead to Sally Yates, Ohr's boss. She knew the history of the dossier and signed off on TWO FISA applications.

I am hoping they are keeping Ohr on a tight leash because he is able to point fingers at Yates, Comey and others. I especially want to know who conducted all of those interviews in late 2016 and who read the notes.

Rosenstein is an unsung hero (thus far) - but Yates has praised him in recent months so I'm worried that he's going to find it difficult to take her down. She's the one and only person I want to see wearing orange, but disbarment is the best I can hope for.

Chuck said...

Well I'm glad that's all settled.

Chuck said...

Birkel said...
What if Trump says nice things about people he is trying to influence?

If only such a pattern existed.


It would be so interesting to have a statement made on the record of a federal grand jury, by Donald Trump; "I was trying to influence Rod Rosenstein."

Joshua Barker said...

Oh FFS Chuck... The FBI and the DOJ are not some separate but equal 4th branch of the government.. they are a part of the Executive and subordinate to the POTUS... Trump could tell Rosenstein to wear a pink tutu and dance the Macarena, and his only recourse would be to resign... there is absolutely no way the POTUS can be indicted or arrested or convicted in a court of law for “Obstruction” in regards to a department he is fully and lawfully in charge of... the only option the Dems have is impeachment... anything else is wishful thinking...

Yancey Ward said...

There has always been the possibility that Sessions, Rosenstein, and James Comey knew in the Spring of 2017 that there was literally nothing at all in the Russian Collusion investigation.

Support from this comes directly from Peter Strzok's text message to Lisa Page when they were debating whether or not to join Mueller's team- Strzok basically admitted that there was "no there there", and he would be the one person who would know this. Remember- Strzok wrote that text after the investigation he was leading had had Page and all of his Trump contacts under electronic surveillance for 7 months and all the time before October 21st 2016, too. By May of 2017, Strzok and his team would have seen and read all the e-mails collected on Page, all Page's contacts, and all of those contacts' contacts basically from the beginning of the Trump Campaign until May 2017. If Strzok believed at that time there was "no there there", one should take that as an authoritative declaration, and it is against Strzok own professed interest in the matter- in other words, a solid fact.

If Strzok believed the above, then it is all but certain Rosenstein and Comey knew this, too. Given that, what is the best recourse for Rosenstein to conclude the investigation? Rosenstein could have simply closed the matter after Comey was fired, but that carries a real political risk to both himself and Trump. However, if "there is no there there", it might make perfect sense to appoint a special counsel just to make sure that when the matter is closed, it doesn't come directly from Rosenstein and Trump himself, and thus has broader political support and understanding. One little item that has always bothered me is that Mueller is reported to have had a long meeting with Trump after Comey was fired, but before Rosenstein appointed him as special counsel. It was rumored this was Trump interviewing Mueller for replacing Comey, but what if it was discuss what to do about the Russian Collusion story for which "there was no there there"?

Not saying I believe this is what Mueller is doing- providing political cover- but it is definitely not implausible.

readering said...

Not plausible that Mueller and Trump cooked this whole thing up instead of Trump giving Mueller FBI job back.

Mike Sylwester said...

Yancey Ward at 11:35 AM
It was rumored this was Trump interviewing Mueller for replacing Comey, but what if it was discuss what to do about the Russian Collusion story for which "there was no there there"?

Along those lines, we could speculate even further that Trump wanted Mueller to persecute Manafort.

One of the reasons why Trump fired Manafort from his campaign staff was that Manafort was leaking negative stuff about Trump to journalists.

Also, some people have argued that Manafort was a GOPe plant in Trump's campaign.

John said...

Yancey,

You need to keep up with your talking points. There was collusion but collusion isn't a crime. That's the latest White House spin.

Yancey Ward said...

Readering,

I think it unlikely, but it is definitely not implausible. Again, I go back to Strzok's text- you have an investigation that has had broad surveillance power for 7 months minimum that has turned up nothing at all. What do you do with such an investigation as a political matter given the opposition Trump was facing in the media? If the investigation is closed by Rosenstein or Sessions in May of 2017, the outrage from the media and the Democrats is easy to predict- they would be screaming, "Coverup," from now until 2020. How would you give such a closure plausible political cover? If you already know what the investigation has found, you might well consider a special counsel.

I only really disbelieve this theory because of who Robert Mueller is and how he stacked the team with Democrats- my hypothetical works better if Mueller had kept a political balance in his team- half Democrats and half Republicans.

Yancey Ward said...

John,

Tell me- who did they collude with? Give me specific names.

Yancey Ward said...

Really, John, I can actually give you names for the foreigners that the Clinton Campaign did collude with, and even paid them. Give me a list for Trump.

Mike Sylwester said...

John at 12:29 PM
You need to keep up with your talking points. There was collusion but collusion isn't a crime. That's the latest White House spin.

Link, please.

Mike Sylwester said...

Yancey Ward at 12:32 PM
What do you do with such an investigation as a political matter given the opposition Trump was facing in the media?

Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller could have completed his investigation and issued his report before the end of 2017.

Mike Sylwester said...

John at 12:29 PM
You need to keep up with your talking points. There was collusion but collusion isn't a crime. That's the latest White House spin.

Link, please.

I want a link to a report that someone in the White House says there was collusion.

John said...

John, I can actually give you names for the foreigners that the Clinton Campaign did collude with, and even paid them.

Which is fine as Rudy said collusion is not a crime.

John said...

Link, please.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1026084333315153924

Mike Sylwester said...

John,

Thanks for the link.

This is not the "collusion" that I myself have in mind in this controversy.

I have in mind something more along the lines of stealing and releasing DNC e-mails.

Mike

John said...

I have in mind something more along the lines of stealing and releasing DNC e-mails.

They campaign wouldn't have done the stealing or the releasing. They would have colluded with those who did. At this point they (the Russians) have dirt, Trump admits his team met with them to discuss this dirt. But we're expected to believe that nothing came of this dirt discussion. And even if they did, Rudy helpfully points out, that not a crime.

Inga said...

Ah, more conspiracy theories. What imaginations you people have!

Inga said...

Rudy should get a medal. He’s done more to bring the truth of collusion ( criminal conspiracy) to light than anyone has before, lol.

Mike Sylwester said...

I think that "collusion" idea developed rather late in this history.

Until mid-May 2016 the US Intelligence Community's main idea was that Donald Trump was being blackmailed by Russian Intelligence. To develop that idea, the FBI used its secret agent Henry Greenberg to try to convince Roger Stone and Michael Caputo to arrange a series of payments from Trump to Russia. Trump would think that he was paying for political dirt about Hilary Clinton, but the payments would be exposed and interpreted as blackmail payments.

The FBI's Greenberg ploy did not work for some still cloudy reason, and so then the FBI began to develop instead its alternate "collusion" idea. This would be at about the end of May or beginning of June 2016.

The "collusion" idea's essence was that Russian Intelligence had stolen Clinton's e-mails and would release some of them in an "October Surprise" to help Trump win the election. Trump did not necessarily pay Russia in advance for this favor. Rather, Trump would later provide political rewards, such as eliminating the Magnitsky Act.

The Veselnitskaya meeting in Trump Tower would be an element of the FBI's proof that such collusion happened. In that regard, that meeting indeed is relevant to the collusion idea.

I think that is why the Veselnitskaya meeting in the Trump Tower happened. The members of the "Resistance" in the DOJ and FBI intended to use that meeting in order to argue that Trump and Russia were negotiating to eliminate the Magnitsky Act -- and do other pro-Russia actions -- if Trump won the election after Russia did its October Surprise to help Trump win the election.

Unfortunately for the DOJ/FBI Resistance, however, both the blackmail idea and the collusion idea have failed. Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller will not be able to prove either idea convincingly.

Mike Sylwester said...

John at 1:29 PM
They campaign wouldn't have done the stealing or the releasing. They would have colluded with those who did. At this point they (the Russians) have dirt, Trump admits his team met with them to discuss this dirt. But we're expected to believe that nothing came of this dirt discussion.

I read this comment after I wrote my comment at 1:42 PM

I agree somewhat with your interpretation.

There seemed to be an idea that the Russian Intelligence had acquired "dirt" about Hillary Clinton. Essentially the "dirt" was in various e-mails that Russian Intelligence had acquired. Russian Intelligence could help Trump win the election by releasing this "dirt" in an October Surprise, shortly before the Presidential election.

In return for doing this October Surprise, Russia wanted to receive political favors -- for example, eliminating the Magnitsky Act -- after Trump became President. The Veselnitskaya meeting in Trump Tower would be an initial step in negotiating this "collusion" between Russian Intelligence and Trump.

The people who had this idea included some of the US Intelligence Community's top officials -- Clapper, Brennan, Comey and their ilk. They were very worried that such a collusion might really happen.

Furthermore, some such ex-officials might believe that such a collusion really DID happen. So, they and other people still get hysterical about that Veselnitskaya meeting in Trump Tower.

I myself think that the meeting was arranged by the DOJ/FBI Resistance in order to frame Trump in terms of the collusion idea.

To resolve this controversy, the US Government should appoint a respected and capable "wise man" to conduct an honest, nonpartisan investigation about what really did happen. Unfortunately, however, the person appointed to conduct such a study is Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller. Therefore, the US public might not learn what happened for many years after Mueller issues his FBI-whitewashing report.

Birkel said...

I acquired the “dirt” on Hillary.
She is an awful candidate.
She stacked the deck within the DNC and ran a lackluster campaign.
Plus, she took huge bribes through her foundation for official government acts.
Plus, she is an inveterate liar.
Plus, she is a power hungry harridan dead-set in enriching herself.
Plus, she is a rapist-supporting hag with no conscience.
Plus, she put American classified information on unsecured servers and destroyed information under subpoena.

One wonders what the Russians could know beyond these fundamentally disqualifying things.

Mike Sylwester said...

Birkel at 2:33 PM
I acquired the “dirt” on Hillary. She is an awful candidate.

Both Trump and Clinton had character flaws that were likely to cause politically disastrous problems.

Most disastrously for Clinton, she as Secretary of State was operating a pay-to-play scheme whereby foreigners were supposed to donate money to her Clinton Foundation. Because of that scheme, she arranged for all her e-mails to run through her private server.

Therefore, she created a disastrous mess for the Department of Justice and the FBI.

In retrospect, it's clear that DOJ/FBI should have indicted her and thus removed her from the election race, to be replaced by Joe Biden.

-----

Trump's problems -- and thus the GOP's problems -- are caused largely by his business history and his sexual history.

Fortunately for Trump, though, the DOJ/FBI has discredited itself thoroughly in relation to Trump. The DOJ/FBI has ruined its own reputation, especially among Republicans.

The longer DOJ/FBI stonewalls against admitting its misdeeds against Trump, the longer it will take the DOJ/FBI to restore its reputation among Republicans. For many years into the future, the DOJ/FBI will be mistrusted for its partisan dirty tricks.

Yancey Ward said...

John,

The issue I have is this, there is no evidence- literally none- that indicates there was a even agreement at the Trump Tower meeting about what the meeting was supposed to be about. Veselnitskaya has not indicated in any testimony or statement that she was there to make a deal to give the Trump Campaign oppo research on Clinton- this is exactly how Trump Jr. described the meeting itself. Veselnitskaya's statements indicate she thought she was there to make a case for eliminating the Magnitsky legislation, and Trump Jr. thought they were there to get opposition research on Clinton. That is not collusion- it isn't even a meeting to discuss working together and then deciding not to. In other words, you cannot claim that the Trump Campaign was colluding with Veselnitskaya or her companion- the two main parties didn't even agree on the purpose of the meeting.

All that the Trump people have admitted to is that the they went to the meeting on the promise of getting dirt on Clinton- that is not illegal. No one has admitted and certainly not proven that the dirt was exchanged- indeed there is little reason now to doubt what happened at the meeting. This big new theory that an admission has been made is bullshit on steroids- we knew all of this year ago. Trump Jr. admitted then why they took the meeting.

This is why I asked you for names, and you dodged the question. I am done with you.

Bruce Hayden said...

“The issue I have is this, there is no evidence- literally none- that indicates there was a even agreement at the Trump Tower meeting about what the meeting was supposed to be about.”

Called “meeting of the minds”. You really can’t have either a criminal conspiracy or any sort of criminal collusion without such, since they are based, essentially, on contract law. Sure, maybe Trump, Jr and Kushner might have somehow violated campaign finance laws, or registration of foreign agents, etc, if the Russian atty had offered them dirt on Crooked Hillary, and they had accepted it. Offer and acceptance. But the Russian attorney never offered the dirt to them, so there was never an agreement, and thus no possibility of collusion or conspiracy.

Original Mike said...

Steele replied, “If you end up out though, I really need another (bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can’t allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous.” Investigators are trying to determine who Steele was referring to..."

What The Fuck?