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May 07, 2018

Surprise! The DOJ's and FBI's Redactions in the Russia Report Had Nothing to Do With Protecting National Security, But Were Instead Only Self-Interested Concealments of Embarrassing Information About Themselves

Firing offense.

Cute how this works: Kick off the week with some "the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted" bombast from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, by which he rationalizes that his defiance of subpoenas and slow-walking document production to Congress -- which is probing investigative irregularities related to the 2016 campaign -- is required by DOJ policy and "the rule of law." Then end the week with the Friday-night bad-news dump: the grudging removal of DOJ and FBI redactions from a House Intelligence Committee report on Russia's election meddling.

Now that we can see what they wanted to conceal, it is clear, yet again, that the Justice Department and the FBI cannot be trusted to decide what the public gets to learn about their decision-making.

They tell us that their lack of transparency is necessary for the protection of national security, vital intelligence, and investigative operations. But what we find out is that they were concealing their own questionable judgments and conflicting explanations for their actions; their use of foreign-intelligence and criminal-investigative authorities to investigate Michael Flynn, Trump's top campaign supporter and former national-security adviser; and their explicitly stated belief that Flynn did not lie in the FBI interview for which Special Counsel Robert Mueller has since prosecuted him on false-statements charges.

It is simply ridiculous for President Trump to continue bloviating about this situation on Twitter and in friendly media interviews, and for congressional Republicans to continue pretending that the problem is Justice Department and FBI leadership -- as if Trump were not responsible for his own administrationís actions. The president has not only the authority but the duty to ensure that his subordinates honor lawful disclosure requests from Congress.

What happened with these redactions is inexcusable.

I don't know about this being Trump's fault. I've thought about this a lot a couple of months ago: If Trump instructs Rosenstein to stop playing games and comply with Congressional subpeonas, what are the odds that Mueller declares this a possible intent to obstruct justice and opens a new avenue of investigation?

The odds of that are 100%.

He can fire Rosenstein -- but only at the cost of another 18-month-to-2-year investigation.

McCarthy points to Sean Davis' work as to what the DOJ and FBI were trying to conceal under the guise of "national security."





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posted by Ace of Spades at 12:32 PM

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