Rod Rosenstein has been a fierce defender of the Special Council investigation, refusing to bend to Republican demands to end or curtail it. Ordinarily that wouldn’t matter, as he’s merely the Deputy Attorney General, but Jeff Sessions has recused himself and that makes Rosenstein the boss of Mueller. Eliminating Rosenstein would be the first step in a modern Saturday Night Massacre, shifting control of the Special Council to someone Republicans can control.
Just before their recess, the House Freedom Caucus tried to queue up that first step by introducing articles of impeachment against Rod Rosenstein. Fortunately, nearly everyone thought it was an empty gesture.
It appears that the resolution will have little chance of success on the House floor, in part because Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has not signed on to to the impeachment effort, and has defended the DOJ’s efforts to cooperate with the committee. “Impeachment is a punishment, it’s not a remedy,” Gowdy said according to The Washington Post. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is also among the leadership who have not signed on to the Rosenstein impeachment effort.
But it looks like we were lied to. I’ve added italics for emphasis.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: “But also, on things that came up in the House on Rosenstein impeachment thing. And it appears from an outsider that the Republicans were not supported.”
REP. NUNES (R-CA): “Yeah, well, so it’s a bit complicated, right? And I say that because you have to, so we only have so many months left, right? So if we actually vote to impeach, okay, what that does is that triggers the Senate then has to take it up. Well, and you have to decide what you want right now because the Senate only has so much time. Do you want them to drop everything and not confirm the Supreme Court justice, the new Supreme Court justice? So that’s part of why, I don’t think you have, you’re not getting from, and I’ve said publicly Rosenstein deserves to be impeached. I mean, so, I don’t think you’re gonna get any argument from most of our colleagues. The question is the timing of it right before the election.”
REP. MCMORRIS RODGERS (R-WA): “Also, the Senate has to start –”
REP. NUNES (R-CA): “The Senate would have to start, the Senate would have to drop everything they’re doing and start to, and start with impeachment on Rosenstein. And then take the risk of not getting Kavanaugh confirmed. So it’s not a matter that any of us like Rosenstein. It’s a matter of, it’s a matter of timing.”
Devin Nunes is the chair of the House Intelligence Committee and enjoys strong support from Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House and one of the most powerful Republicans in the party. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the most powerful woman in the Republican party and high up in the leadership hierarchy. If the two of them claim most Republicans are in favour of impeaching Rosenstein, that’s probably the case.
It also snaps the final puzzle piece into place for a Massacre. You need a place a stooge in the line of succession below Rosenstein before you start the Massacre, and Republicans already have that in the form of Brian Benczkowski.
Benczkowski’s nomination was controversial because of his work for Alfa Bank, which has been scrutinized by FBI counterintelligence. Benczkowski, a former lead staffer to Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Senate and a Trump transition official, has faced criticism from Democrats since he was nominated last year over his past private-practice work on behalf of Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s largest financial institutions.[…]
Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, said in a tweet Tuesday that “the warning signs are clear” about Benczkowski. And Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, in a floor speech called out his “astoundingly weak qualifications,” positing that Benczkowski’s close ties to Sessions and the administration could be leveraged to stymie the ongoing Mueller probe or create a backchannel for improper information sharing.
Any Massacre would throw the country into a constitutional crisis, and almost certainly invoke the Supreme Court. Enter Brett Kavanaugh, a justice who thinks the President should wield more power and be above the law. Confirming him would solidify Conservative control over the court and give them enough votes to rubber-stamp a Massacre. Democrats are doing what they can to oppose Kavanaugh, but
The reality is Democrats have little power to block Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. Republicans need only 50 votes to confirm a nominee, so if every sitting Republican votes for Kavanaugh, he’ll be confirmed. Plus, there are several red-state Democrats who have plenty of incentives to demonstrate that they are working with Republicans in Washington.
Devin Nunes just confirmed the Republican Party is teeing up another Saturday Night Massacre. They’re not only conspiring to defraud the United States, the majority of the party are eager to obstruct justice to cover up their misdeeds. Italics are mine again.
REP. NUNES (R-CA): “So therein lies, so it’s like your classic Catch-22 situation where we were at a – this puts us in such a tough spot. If Sessions won’t unrecuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones. Which is really the danger. That’s why I keep, and thank you for saying it by the way, I mean we have to keep all these seats. We have to keep the majority. If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away.”
No wonder Republicans are bark more than they bite as they keep refusing to fund election security initiatives in the face of blinking red lights, they’re counting on a mixture of voter suppression and Kremlin interference to keep them in power and safe from prosecution. It brings to mind what Sarah Kendzor said in the latest episode of Gaslit Nation,