Rosenstein Consulted With Ethics Advisor Over Recusing Himself From Mueller Probe

The deluge of political news from the past week has continued on Friday with reports about the fate of Rod Rosenstein, the White House's attempt to push back against an FBI raid on Trump attorney Michael Cohen, the excerpts from James Comey's memoir...the list goes on.


And in the latest update regarding Rosenstein, CNN reported Friday afternoon that the deputy attorney general has consulted with an ethics official at the DOJ about whether he should recuse himself from supervising the Mueller probe. And although CNN neglected to say exactly what this ethics advisor told Rosenstein, it did report that the deputy AG has followed their advice - which presupposes that the advisor gave him the all-clear to stay on.

But CNN has now learned that Rosenstein has consulted with the ethics adviser over the course of the investigation on whether he needs to recuse himself, and he has followed that individual's advice -- a fact which has not been previously reported and offers a more fulsome explanation for how he has continued to oversee Mueller's work. The source did not specify the number of conversations, timing, or the details of the advice.

To date, Rosenstein has offered little by way of explanation publicly, but he made clear last year that if he were to become a subject of Mueller's investigation, he would recuse himself.

"I've talked with Director Mueller about this," Rosenstein told the Associated Press. "He's going to make the appropriate decisions, and if anything that I did winds up being relevant to his investigation then, as Director Mueller and I discussed, if there's a need from me to recuse, I will."

The crux of the issue dates back to last May, when Rosenstein wrote a memo outlining ways Comey had flouted Justice Department protocols leading up to the 2016 election. Trump used the memo to justify firing Comey, but later told NBC "this Russia thing" was on his mind when he fired Comey, and he would have done it regardless of Rosenstein's memo.

Rosenstein's role in the episode has continually raised questions about how he has been able to oversee Mueller's investigation if it delves into potential issues of obstruction of justice.

Trump raised the issue early on, tweeting in June: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt."

Apparently, legal experts believe the fact that Rosenstein consulted with an ethics advisor lends some legitimacy to his decision to continue supervising the Mueller probe.

But legal experts say the fact that Rosenstein consulted with an ethics adviser adds more legitimacy to his decision to stay on.
It "indicates that he is intent on doing things the right way," said CNN legal analyst Carrie Cordero, who served as senior associate general counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and an attorney adviser at the Justice Department.

"Based on how he has overseen the special counsel to date, and the fact that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself on the advice of DOJ's ethics advisers, I'm inclined to think that if Rosenstein was advised by career officials that he needed to recuse himself from certain matters, he would do so," Cordero added.

While CNN doesn't directly come out and say that this was the ethics counsel's argument, it appears their reasoning went something like this: Since Mueller's investigation into obstruction is focused on Trump's mindset when he fired FBI Director James Comey, Rosenstein's role in drafting the infamous memo explaining the rationale for firing Comey is inconsequential.

"The dismissal itself is a matter of public record," Georgetown Law Professor Marty Lederman wrote for the Just Security law blog. "And in light of Trump's own admissions about his desire to put a crimp in the Russia inquiry, it's not obvious that Mueller would have much to do in investigating that question other than to question Trump himself, something that apparently has not yet happened.

Joe diGeneva, Alan Dershowitz and a handful of other lawyers have taken to cable news recently to demand that Rosenstein recuse himself, portraying him as hopelessly compromised. However, this is a relatively new strategy by Trump's defenders. Previously, the White House had been reluctant to even mention Rosenstein's role in Comey's firing because that would entail an admission that Trump is, in fact, under investigation for obstruction.

But with Rosenstein reportedly telling friends that he's ready to be fired, we wonder if he might reconsider his decision not to recuse himself in a last-ditch attempt to save his job?


exlcus Fri, 04/13/2018 - 14:49 Permalink

This is just like the people who get a memo from a lawyer that says they can torture people... 

If you have a signed note from a parent, it must be ok!

Looney ???ö? Fri, 04/13/2018 - 14:51 Permalink


Rosenstein’s upcoming firing may be connected to the Syria Debacle. Here’s how…

It looks like an attack on Syria slowly morphs into the “Fire and Fury” 2.0 (thank God!).

First of all, the Truman Carrier Strike Group is NOT going to the Mediterranean. Just like with 0bama’s threat to punish Assad in 2015, the Truman will be “projecting power” by cowardly hiding behind the corner, i.e. in the Persian Gulf (map).

Secondly, right now, a team of the OPCW experts (The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) is already on-site taking samples. The area is secured by the Russian Military Police.

Thirdly, by the time the Truman CSG arrives in the Persian Gulf, the samples will be analyzed and, of course, OPCW won’t be able to confirm that the attack even happened.

Next, Trump will tweet something like this: “I know that Animal Assad did it, but we cannot prove it. SAD!” and with that, the WWIII Shit Show will end.

Within 10 minutes, Trump will tweet “You’re FIRED!!!” to Rosenstein or Mueller (or both). To the Libtarded MSM, that will be much more important than Trump’s walking away from the promised attack on Syria.

Now… I gotta get me some GMP (genetically modified popcorn) and butter-flavored engine oil.   ;-)


In reply to by ???ö?

FoggyWorld Looney Fri, 04/13/2018 - 15:12 Permalink

That Truman carrier was planned to move to the Persian Gulf a year ago.  I have a friend whose kid is on an  accompanying Ashleigh Burke and that deployment was announced to those sailors a year ago.  Their ship was being retrofitted and was tested out several months ago.  This is their first journey on that improved ship.

Those decisions are made well ahead of time and the media are turning this into something that just isn't true.

In reply to by Looney

whosyerdaddy FoggyWorld Fri, 04/13/2018 - 15:23 Permalink

Media? The same media that told of a funeral on the Lincoln for osama bin deaden. NEVER HAPPENED!  No 4 am funeral for a man who had been dead for years. No pictures either supposedly too gruesome yeah right. If they had undoctored photos of osama Joe Biden would have held them up on national tv. Same time frame they had plenty of pics of Quadaffi taking a bayonet up the tailpipe.

In reply to by FoggyWorld

overmedicatedu… Deep Snorkeler Fri, 04/13/2018 - 16:07 Permalink

"Aircraft carriers of broken dreams."..nice very nice. 

Morals was never strong with any nations leadership..see clinton,et al..

Obuma' s sins darken our land, Clinton's sins block out the SUN ...

5000 dead green troops   on Normandy  beach and the people elect that General to be President..

horror horror R Mueller the grocery clerk sent to collect a bill..

In reply to by Deep Snorkeler

Fiscal.Enema ???ö? Fri, 04/13/2018 - 15:07 Permalink

I'm sorry but "Rosy Palm" Rosenstein looks like a DORK! 

His childhood must have been filled with defeat and disappointment by the boys that were better looking and more athletic than him. 

Jilted love turned to anger when they took his sweetheart.

He probable spent his days and nights alone, planning to get even with the pretty boys who stole his girl.

Well, that twisted f*ck is doing to Donald what the pretty boys were doing to his mother.

He's getting even with the boy, Donald, who stole his girl, Hillary. And the election.


In reply to by ???ö?

sprodriguez exlcus Fri, 04/13/2018 - 15:38 Permalink

Ethics? Conflict of interest? Rosenstein's wife is Lisa Barsoomian, an attorney who has "...represented Hillary Clinton, between 1991 to 2017; she also represented Bill Clinton, James Comey, Barack Obama, Kathleen Sebellius and Robert Muller."

Congress should Impeach Rosenstein and Trump has every right to Fire that fucker immediately!

In reply to by exlcus

DisorderlyConduct Fri, 04/13/2018 - 14:54 Permalink

LOL. Now there's two words I never expected to see in the same sentence: Rosenstein and ethics...

...well, without the words 'breach', or 'has no', or - you get the picture... ^_^

Thought Processor Fri, 04/13/2018 - 14:58 Permalink


Watch them Squirm.  Raiding Cohen's office was a very desperate last ditch effort.  The IG likely has them all but locked up now.  More people are starting to cooperate (or at least begin negotiations to cooperate).  Alan D was a big one.  

The Libby pardon now clears the way for others to out primary and indirect (ie; front) CIA assets who are involved (interesting twist no?).  Those who are doing the outing can now do so.

It's happening.  They fall like dominoes from here.


Q:  How do you pull apart an Octopus?  

A:  All at once.

Robert Trip Fri, 04/13/2018 - 15:23 Permalink

"Ethics Advisor?"

Ronald MacDonald has a new gig?

Fire his ass.

There is a Hollywood screenwriter waiting in the wings itching to pen this asshole's book.

Robert Trip Fri, 04/13/2018 - 15:33 Permalink

According to sources close to the situation along with several confidantes and people within the inner circle of these events, the "Ethics Advisor" is one Manuel (Manny) Rodriguez who is employed at a Nachos 'N' Stuff franchise full time working the Drive-Thru.

He carries out his ethics advising on the side, accepting payment under the table of course.

Crassius Fri, 04/13/2018 - 15:45 Permalink

Rosenstein is covering up his own misdeeds with the Mueller probe....

Thats not just unethical, it’s something he will spend a long time behind bars for doing.

Or, there will be a shooting war.

NoPension Fri, 04/13/2018 - 15:50 Permalink

Soon..haha!! The "real " puppet masters will start to " Seth Rich " these motherfuckers! 

Im waiting for those reports of slipping on a wet tile floor, and crushing your skull on a tub.

 He couldn't take the pressure, and hanged himself/ swan dived of the balcony/ od'd.

Guess who's plane just went down! 

He dropped a 200lb barbell on his throat. ( that was a good one, encore please.)

Another oldie/goodie...." his $170,000 Benz suddenly went airborne, and hit a tree!

please, feel free to add to the list. 

 Bayonets up the tailpipe....but that's just a dream