Rosenstein Testifies Before The Senate Judiciary Hearing

Screen Shot 2020-06-03 at 11.31.11 AMI have been tweeting on the hearing of former Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. I will continue to update on the blog as newsworthy points are raised. Update: the hearing is now over but further analysis is available here.

Thus far we have had a lively hearing with Rosenstein who admitted that he would not have signed off on the Carter Page FISA application if he knew about the false statements and underlying misconduct from the FBI.

Rosenstein also stated that former Deputy FBI Director, Andrew McCabe, failed to inform him of critical and important information until “just a few hours” before they appeared in the New York Times.

He also acknowledged that there is evidence that the Steele dossier contained disinformation from Russian intelligence or other sources and that the Russians were trying to harm both Clinton and Trump.


Earlier Sen. Cornyn questioned Rosenstein on the reports within the FBI that the Steele dossier may have been a vehicle of the Russian intelligence services to spread disinformation.  He does not disagree with footnote 350 of the IG.  He does not go beyond acknowledging the evidence that it might have been a vehicle for Russian disinformation and that it needs to be investigated.

This was the exchange:

John Cornyn: (59:45)
Well, we know that Bill Priestap, who’s in charge of the counter intelligence division, said they did consider the possibility that Steele was a part of a Russian disformation campaign. But then thanks to the diligence of Senator Grassley and Senator Johnson and the director of national intelligence, we now have a copy of the less redacted footnote 350 to the inspector general report, which points out, if you can see it, that not only did a Steele have regular interaction with Russian oligarchs, but that there was a potential for Russia  disinformation influencing Steele’s election reporting. It did not have high confidence that the sub-sources for Steele’s reporting and assessed that the reference subset was part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate US foreign relations.

John Cornyn: (01:00:50)
Mr. Rosenstein, it strikes me that Mr. Putin must be extraordinarily pleased with how this all played itself out. Not only was Hillary Clinton and her campaign disparaged, not only was President Trump and his campaign disparaged and put through what can only be described as hell for the last three-and-a-half years of an investigation, when in fact the source of some of the information that was used not only to secure a FISA warrant but to conduct a counterintelligence investigation, may in fact have been part of a Russian disnformation campaign. Does that concern you?

Rosenstein: (01:01:33)
It concerns me very much, Senator. I’m in a bit of a disadvantage. As you know, I was in the job for only two years. I’ve been gone now for about 13 months, so I don’t have access to any information that’s been generated through the Durham investigation. I do not know what Attorney General Barr has discovered with regard to that, but I think it’s important, senators, for us to keep in mind that it is established, I believe, that Russia’s efforts included disparaging Hillary Clinton, as you said, that that doesn’t mean Russia is on the other candidate side. Russia is on Russia’s side. I think we should be just as concerned if there’s evidence that they were disparaging or attacking, trying to undermine President Trump as we were about their activities with regard to Secretary Clinton. I don’t know the answer to it, but I am concerned about it.

John Cornyn: (01:02:20)
I agree with you. The point I was trying to make is the Crossfire Hurricane investigation based almost entirely on the allegations of Christopher Steele and the sources he provided, which may have in fact been part of a Russian disinformation campaign, which has successfully divided the country and created a lot of chaos in the ensuing three-and-a-half years.

Rod Rosenstein: (01:02:45)
If I could just follow up on that. Senator, whether it’s Russian disinformation or other disinformation, I think the FBI needs to figure out where did it come from, why was it submitted and were any crimes committed. I think that’s an appropriate area of investigation. I just don’t know what the evidence reflects.


11:40 am

Ted_Cruz,_official_portrait,_113th_CongressSen Cruz just said that he believes Rosenstein was grossly negligent in his handling of the investigation. Rosenstein said that he did not know about the discrediting of the Steele dossier or the fraudulent filings of an agent or the fact that the Steele dossier was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.

Cruz just asked Rosenstein about the Logan Act which he correctly described as a flagrantly unconstitutional act and its reliance by the FBI.  He is right that its use should have been laughable.  I have repeatedly written on the aspect.  

Rosenstein responded that Flynn was targeted because they believed that Flynn had lied to the Vice President. He entirely failed to respond to the Logan Act question.

11:43 am

Sen. Klobuchar is up and vehemently objecting to the comparison of Obama to Nixon by Sen. Cruz.

Klobuchar again refers to the fact that the Russians interfered with the election and former Trump associates were convicted of other crimes.


Sen. Hawley is raising the FISA courts own statements against false statements to the court. Hawley confronted Rosenstein for signing off on an application with at least 17 false statements.

Rosenstein made his first misstep in saying that four judges signed off on the application.  That is hardly an answer.  Those judges do not actively pressed the FBI on whether the facts are true.

Rosenstein said that there is a legitimate question of “why it happened?” That would seem to support the hearing that Democrats are denouncing.

Rosenstein agreed that the conduct of the FBI in the case was “certainly a threat” to the system of justice and court process with regard to FISA.

Rosenstein agreed that “we need to find out what went wrong.”  He did a good job in dealing with Hawley who repeatedly interrupted him in saying that he is appearing today to be “accountable.”  Rosenstein insisted that “yelling at me will not solve the problem.”


Sen. Coons did a better job in getting Rosenstein to say that he does not agree that the Russian investigation was a “witch hunt” and that he does believe that it has a valid purpose.

Rosenstein contradicted Coons on his statement that there is no precedent for withdrawing a plea like Flynn.  He said that he did not know on specific precedent but that there have been prior cases of withdrawing from prosecutions. I have written on that point.

I thought Coons did well but I will do not understand the opposition to the hearing given Rosenstein’s own testimony that he believes that there is still a need to get to the bottom of these issues, including new information released after the IG investigation.


Sen. Tillis is up.  He is now defining “hoax” under the Oxford dictionary as well as a “witch hunt.”

Tillis noted that Page, Strzok and others were on what he described as his “hand-picked teams.” Rosenstein says that those people should be “held accountable.”

Tillis is again pressing on Rosenstein calling McCabe’s omissions as a lack of candor.  Rosenstein did not respond beyond saying that he would not speculate on McCabe’s state of mind.


Rosenstein just told Sen. Blumenthal that “he is open to the possibility” that he might not have appointed Mueller but, what he knows today, he would still have appointed him.

What is interesting is that Blumenthal noted that he did not vote for Rosenstein because he refused to say that he would appoint a Special Counsel at his confirmation.  He was the only vote against Rosenstein in Committee. His position at the time was entirely improper. He was demanding, as a condition for confirmation, that Rosenstein agreed to take an official action without knowing the full facts.  Later he would appoint a Special Counsel.  However, Blumenthal’s position at the time was outrageous given the need to review the record before making such a decision.


Sen. Ernst is up.

She raised his extension of surveillance on Page on June 29, 2017 but the fact of the surveillance was already in the media and Page knew it.  Yet, the FBI continued the surveillance.  Rosenstein just said that “it is a valid question” but that he was told that they still believed the third extension of the original warrant was needed. He confirmed that he raised that fact that they would be continuing to monitor and surveil despite that fact that Page was fully aware that he was being monitored and surveilled.

Rosenstein said that he did not view Page’s surveillance as intruding into political discussions because Page was no longer working on the campaign.


440px-Mazie_Hirono,_official_portrait,_113th_CongressSen. Hirono is up.

She is discussing the Floyd case.

Hirono raised reports that he discussed wearing a wire or using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump.

Rosenstein denied he was involved in any conspiracy against Trump but Hirono cut him off to ask about specific statements.

Rosenstein denied secretly recording President Trump and “never in any way suggested the President could be removed under the 25th Amendment.”

Hirono seems to be making a case for the Administration.  She just prompted Rosenstein to say that he agreed with the view that there was no evidence of obstruction of justice.  She then dug deeper and Rosenstein just said that “he agrees that there was no evidence of a crime” by Trump.

Hirono continued to dig deeper.  She pressed Rosenstein on how a 1000 prosecutors disagreed with him. Rosenstein just said “we have a lot more than 1000 former prosecutors.” He said that while they did not know the full record, he did.  Hirono cut him off again.  Rosenstein said it was unfair.  “Nobody was in favor of prosecution.”


Sen. Crapo is up.

He got Rosenstein to agree that the Inspector General did in fact find bias but that he could not prove that bias was the reason for decisions.

Crapo noted that the IG could only ask the people if their bias impacted their decision and there is obviously no documentary evidence to prove how the bias impacted decisions.  Crapo noted that the IG said it was “inapplicable” that all of these errors could occur without bias.

Rosenstein agreed that this was “an important issue.” He then deflected the question on his view.  He agreed that bias was found.  Rosenstein said that he felt Attorney General needs to still address the issue.


Sen. Booker is up.

He is also opposing any continuing inquiry into the misconduct in the Russian investigation. He is questioning Rosenstein on whether he watched the Floyd killing and prior task forces.


Sen. Kennedy is up.

He is going through the emails on hostile writings against Bernie Sanders and Trump form Page and Strzok.  Not a family show on the language.

He has said that they were decision makers “navel deep” in Crossfire Hurricane. Not sure I would call Page a decisionmaker or even particularly “senior.”

Kennedy noted it is “easier to divorce a spouse than get someone fired.”  However, he pressed Rosenstein on why he did not ask harder questions.  Rosenstein said that he is correct on Horowitz’s conclusion on bias.  He said that when he saw the evidence, they transferred Strzok and Page left the department voluntarily.

Sen. Graham followed up on why there was no “Woods procedure.” [A Woods Procedures (named for Michael Woods, the FBI official who drafted FISA rules) are designed for a review to “ensure accuracy with regard to … the facts supporting probable cause” after recurring instances.]

Rosenstein said it was a fair question but that they did conduct some review.

Kennedy returned with a question about Flynn and the threat of Mueller to indict Flynn’s son to pressure him to plead guilty.  Rosenstein said that he was under the impression that Flynn had lied. He said he was unaware that the agents actually said that they did not believe that Flynn intentionally lied to them. He said that this is something for Barr to investigated.


Sen. Blackburn is up.

She went to McCabe and the finding that he lied three times according to career investigators.  She asked why McCabe was not criminally charge like Flynn. Rosenstein refused to give an opinion.

She then turned to Flynn. Rosenstein said that he does not accept that Flynn was a target because he was a close adviser to Trump.

She raised the Stevens case that we previously discussed.  Rosenstein refused to discuss what should be done in Flynn.

Blackburn said that she still does not know if the Obama Administration intercepted her calls in working on the transition team.

Graham did say that he does not believe that Rosenstein was part of a conspiracy but asked him to respond to a statement from McCabe.  McCabe called Rosenstein’s claims of being mislead are “completely false” and that Rosenstein was “fully briefed.” McCade calls it a “sad attempt” using Rosenstein as a “willing accessory.’

Rosenstein said that he has not accused McCabe of “misrepresentations” but that he was “not forthcoming” and withheld important information. He stands by the statement that “for whatever reason” he withheld information that he (Rosenstein) had a “right to know.”  Graham said that he will ask McCabe to testify.

Graham gaveled the hearing to a close at 1:17.

Ironically, the most damaging testimony against the Justice Department came from the questioning by Sen. Hirono who is proof of the long-standing rule in litigation to avoid questions that you do not know the answer to.

440px-Sheldon_Whitehouse_2010It was also curious to have Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse criticizing the holding of a hearing on the conduct of the Justice Department while criticizing the lack of transparency at the Justice Department. I have long taken a simple approach to oversight. The more the better.  The motivations of oversight may be partisan but these hearings (as with today’s hearing) offer needed insights into alleged abuse.  Whitehouse is entirely correct that his own questions and inquiries need to be answered. However, that point would be more powerful if he was steadfastly opposed to pursuing these very allegations of bias and abuse, even as the witness says that there is more to be investigated and resolved.

111 thoughts on “Rosenstein Testifies Before The Senate Judiciary Hearing”

  1. Typo – missing “was not” steadfastly, rather than “was”

    “that point would be more powerful if he was steadfastly opposed to pursuing these very allegations of bias and abuse,”

  2. “I couldn’t give you anything mr congressman for well over a year, that was an ongoing investigation.”
    translation: To block anything from oversight, open an investigation and let it drag on, and on, and on.

    1. Mespo

      Take a break from the internet. Disconnect from all of the news. You are out of control and your mental health is teetering dangerously


      1. Well that one destroyed you. Now you’re flaking out with a conspiracy theory.
        Another dummy, another day.

        1. Shakdi –

          I will point you to, CIA document, No. 1035-960, from yesteryear.

          No. 2 – The aim of this dispatch is to discredit the claims of conspiracy theorists.

          But ask yourself this, at that time, almost half the country called b.s., 46%.

          What!? The American people thought their own govt was lying to them!!!???

          No way! Looks like ppl were smarter than without technology than with it in 2020.

          Drink your kool aid, sheeple. Baahhh. Bahhhh.

          Coincidence Theorist? Oh, yes. 😉

                1. I will never toe the line, unless I am getting paid to do so. Lol. Hahaha, I am a sell-out, what can I say!? The highest bidder, please.

                  Just kidding, but not really.

                  Everyone has a price, you would be surprised. Money is our resource, and money makes everything go round.

                  Yuri seems to know what is up. Ever seen Yuri B.?


  3. Rosenstein: ” WE, the DOJ, make the shortlist of the possibles for the head of the FBI, the make the recommendations, we choose the possible replacements”.

    Ah. Yes, that of course explains the swamp.

  4. “I’ve been out of there for 13 months, so I don’t know.”
    “I was new for 2 years so I don’t know.”
    “I’ve been doing this for 30 years.”

  5. Rosenstein uses the excuse he was new at the time… they had already charged some things when he got there.
    Then, as the love and coddling continues, he admits he was in it for 30 years.
    So, Rosenstein isn’t a noobie – he got to his position climbing the ladder for 30 some years.
    When anything important is questioned, Rosenstein “didn’t know”.
    As the guy in charge he knew the same or less than Mr. 2 years Mueller the clueless not my purview on every question.
    When asked about the 45 page FISA justification he signed, “that’s the evidence he relied on to sign it, the evidence itself, totally and completely.”

    Did he rubber stamp – yes of course he rubber stamped – that’s all he does or anyone does, it’s a formality. Peruse it for some fun or to read about the current gossip going around, or for your next leak to the press.

    FISA court, rubber stamp. Rosenstein, rubber stamp to enter FISA court.
    Our Federal employees – never wrong, never nefarious, never clued in, never responsible, never truthful, never actually taking responsibility, never anything but blind, before, during, and after the act.

    “I relied on the document while okaying the document.”
    “four other judges signed it, they relied on it while okaying it, too”
    “Don’t you understand, there are very rigorous restraints on those that make these documents, that’s how we know they are 100% faithful, they came from our fellow faithful in government!”

    ” It was okay to have Hillary lovers who hated Donald Trump running everything because we train to keep our politics out of our decisions making.
    I suppose we should have had some republicans on the Mueller team, but it didn’t matter, we are trained to – you don’t expect us to not have politics – we are trained to ignore our politics – we are perfect mind zombies we are fair no matter what”
    “Didn’t you hear me say we are trained?”
    “I knew the Mueller report would be fair because I totally respect the integrity of Mueller.”

    I’ve heard enough from the hillary fan clownboy liar who knew nothing like everyone else ever in prison to this day.
    “If something else comes out…. I could change my mind….” Rosenstein knows

    So the public face story they give us is :
    “We can all be Trump haters inside. We are fair anyway. We are full of integrity. Our colleagues are the epitomy of virtue and adherence to honor and rule of law which we can never break no matter what we do or don’t do.”

    None of them know what a crime from one of their own could possibly be.
    Seconds later, far less is a 10yr prison felony for their targets.

  6. I don’t see anything worth commenting on. Rosenstein was part of the leadership at the time in question and membership for all of it. Who else would be asked to comment?

  7. Confirmed: Rosenstein is Not a FtM, look at that very long ring finger on his right hand.
    Whoa, screams male T.

  8. Is U.S. Attorney John Durham a “reasonable prosecutor?”

    “Although there is evidence of potential violations regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

    – James Comey

    The only thing that remains to be determined at this critical inflection point in American history, and in the history of the enduring attempt by communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) to conquer and subjugate America, is whether Attorney General William “Mr. Deep Deep State” Barr and his Federal Prosecutor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, John “Lynne Abraham” Durham are going to whitewash the Obama Coup D’etat in America or prosecute all of its irrevocably guilty and treasonous co-conspirators with extreme prejudice and to the fullest extent of the law.

    Shall we ring up Logistics and have the guillotines delivered, Mr. Barr?

  9. Trump appointed Rosenstein and Mr Trump seems to think Rosenstein is a pretty nice guy.
    Here is what Trump had to say about Rosenstein about one week after Rosenstein approved the prosecution of Gen. Flynn.

    If you read Rosenstein’s retirement letter, he had lots of nice things to say about trump also. It makes one think they are best buddies.

    1. Yes, as a hated POTUS under the ire of “the way we got Nixon we will get Trump” national call to arms, you wisely DIS the acting AG who job it is to climb up your and your admins rear end for the next number of years, often secretly and with ill intent.
      DIS em in public, right genius Jinn ?

      1. you wisely DIS the acting AG who job it is to climb up your and your admins rear end for the next number of years, often secretly and with ill intent.
        Rosenstein has never had ill intent against Trump. His job was to supervise Mueller. And Mueller was the pied piper that led all the stupid democratic children off on a wild goose chase. For two years the stupid democratic children followed Mueller around eating up every ridiculous story that he and the White House leaked to the press.

        And then suddenly the Mueller investigation turned into nothing burgers just as it was designed to do from the very beginning, and that left all the stupid democratic children that had been eagerly following the pied piper mueller, scurrying around like ants that just had their ant hill knocked over.

        1. Spying goes 2 deep once the target is FISA’d. All the contacts the target has, and those contacts of the target have.
          That’s literally everyone working in or on the Trump campaign in any position.
          Word was they had 300 people destroyed, we get about 6 names. All the families of those are destroyed too.

          The 13 (or 17 guess they rounded some in and out)angry democrat con artist jugular cutters, extortionists and liars have the entire network of the republican machine mapped, outlined, and destroyed. It’s Nixon’s wildest dream.

          All that information and leverage leaked into every key reporter and the DNC whenever needed for several decades to come.

          Jinn: “It was Trumps plan all along. A circus of deception. Hillary and her DNC and the fusion ties and Rosenstein and his wife who is lawyer for all the Hillary top machine – nadda to do with it, nor the lifelong friendships and connections on the Democrat side for everyone involved ! They don’t matter.”
          “Trump won, I’m a sore loser, it’s all his fault !”

          1. Hillary and her DNC and the fusion ties and Rosenstein and his wife who is lawyer for all the Hillary top machine – nadda to do with it,
            You have to be an idiot to believe any of that.
            I suppose you think they picked Biden because that is who they think is the best candidate to beat Trump. Biden is corrupt, senile and a rapist who can barely remember his name from one minute to the next but that is the best they can find to run against Trump. How stupid do you have to be to believe that?

          2. Spying goes 2 deep once the target is FISA’d. All the contacts the target has, and those contacts of the target have
            millions of Americans have their phones tapped everyday. You don’t care about that. instead you get hysterical about spying on a CIA guy. Its also funny you don’t care that the CIA had an asset planted on the inside spying on the Trump campaign..
            If they wanted to actually listen to Carter Page they would just do it without any permission. You would never know about it. The fact that you do know about it should tell you this story about Carter Page is just more BS designed to rile the morons.

  10. I think your opinions are “best taken with a grain of salt.”

    You say “in this case the thing to understand, is that they should have been putting the pressure on in the first place. you keep missing that point.”

    But your “point” — “they should have been putting the pressure on in the first place” — is ambiguous. Who is “they”? and “putting the pressure on” whom?

    I’m not sure how you expect anyone to get such an unclear point.

    “we’ll settle these questions in the end, via politics”

    Actually, my questions will largely be settled in court.

    Oral arguments for the writ of mandamus are on June 12. It’s unclear how long the CADC will take to rule, and I suspect that either way they rule, there will be a request by one or another party for an en banc review.

    Meanwhile, in the District Court, the following schedule applies unless it’s interrupted by the CADC ruling:
    “(1) the Court-appointed amicus curiae shall file the amicus brief by no later than 12:00 PM on June 10, 2020; (2) any motion seeking leave to file an amicus brief by non-Court-appointed amicus curiae shall be filed by no later than 12:00 PM on June 10, 2020; (3) the government and Mr. Flynn shall file their responses to the amicus brief of the Court-appointed amicus curiae by no later than 12:00 PM on June 17, 2020; (4) the Court-appointed amicus curiae shall file a reply brief by no later than 12:00 PM on June 24, 2020; (5) the government and Mr. Flynn shall file any sur-reply briefs by no later than 12:00 PM on June 26, 2020; and (6) the government, Mr. Flynn, and the Court-appointed amicus curiae shall file a consolidated response to any amicus brief of non-Court-appointed amicus curiae by no later than 12:00 PM on July 2, 2020. … the Court schedules oral argument for July 16, 2020”

    Since the June 10 deadline for Mr. Gleeson’s amicus brief is before the June 12 CADC oral arguments, at the very least we’ll soon see what Mr. Gleeson has to say about the 3 issues Judge Sullivan asked him to address. I think the DOJ’s Motion to Dismiss is full of holes, and I look forward to reading what he has to say about why the motion shouldn’t be granted. But you seem disinterested in details, so I suspect you don’t share my anticipation.

    1. The FBI and DOJ and counter intel should have been giving the Trump campaign DEFENSIVE BRIEFINGS like they havbe every other administration they ever interacted with.

      The reason they did the opposite and treated Trump like an enemy of a foreign nation is because they were on a coup plot.

      Thanks for playing, dummy.

  11. Rosenstein has a “Tell” evident by todays and prior appearances. He always flinches, stutters and flashes that annoying smug smile when non-answering a question. He is a Lying swamp creature throwing everyone under the bus, accepting no responsibility for his incompetence and collusion.
    Another Hillary student.

    1. Yes, a Lois Lerner doll boy who knows all the correct integrity answers and straight talk perfect government express reasons to boldly claim no government agent such as himself has ever done anything wrong. The “S” on the chest stands for _ _ _ _

  12. Rosenstein also stated that former Deputy FBI Director, Andrew McCabe, failed to inform him of critical and important information until “just a few hours” before they appeared in the New York Times.

    He also acknowledged that there is evidence that the Steele dossier contained disinformation from Russian intelligence and that the Russians were trying to harm both Clinton and Trump.

    Do any persons from Department of Justice or US Intelligence Community involved in these clear abuses of power have any credibility in giving testimony before congress?

    Evasion and circumvention are their watchwords as they seek to avoid accountability.

    The sewer dwelling worms involved placed their petty myopic political biases before the best interests of the nation.

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