Archive for the ‘DOJ’ Category

Julie Kelly’s article highlights the Swampy critters dedicated to the destruction of all things Trump. The first exhibit is Bill Barr. AG Barr had the audacity to insist that Roger Stone not serve more time in prison than a rapist. When Protect Democracy heard that, they cried ‘injustice’. Within a day, Protect Democracy had found 1,100 “former federal prosecutors” to sign this letter calling for Bill Barr’s resignation.

These 1,100 former federal prosecutors wrote “Although there are times when political leadership appropriately weighs in on individual prosecutions, it is unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case.”

The Deep State, aka the Swamp, is actually run by a hyperpartisan organization called Protect Democracy. Saying that Protect Democracy is dedicated to preserving the Constitution isn’t tethered to the truth. The first line in Article II, Section 1 clearly states “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:”

Within that presidential chain of command, it’s absurd to think that the Attorney General wouldn’t have the constitutional authority to overrule line prosecutors. The president is elected. The Attorney General is appointed by the president, then confirmed by the Senate. Line prosecutors are neither elected, appointed or confirmed; they’re hired.

The Constitution is worthless without accountability. The president is accountable to those that elected him. The attorney general is accountable to the president who appointed him. Line prosecutors are only accountable to the people that hired them or that are above them in the chain of command.

About Protect Democracy

It’s worth noting that Protect Democracy wasn’t founded until “early 2017.” Protect Democracy wasn’t started until after the Obama administration politicized the DOJ, the FBI, the IRS, the CIA and the State Department. What a coincidence. Further, Protect Democracy didn’t speak out about the Obama administration’s DOJ surveilling newspaper reporters and TV correspondents. Protect Democracy didn’t complain that the IRS was weaponized to prevent TEA Party organizations from fully participating in the 2012 presidential election.

The opening paragraph of Protect Democracy’s letter:

We, the undersigned, are alumni of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) who have collectively served both Republican and Democratic administrations. Each of us strongly condemns President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice.

What has President Trump or Attorney General Barr done that’s violated the Constitution? Further, it’s impossible for President Trump and Attorney General Barr to “interfere” in DOJ’s operations. They’re the ones in charge, not the line prosecutors. Then there’s this:

The Justice Manual, the DOJ’s rulebook for its lawyers, states that “the rule of law depends on the evenhanded administration of justice”; that the Department’s legal decisions “must be impartial and insulated from political influence”; and that the Department’s prosecutorial powers, in particular, must be “exercised free from partisan consideration.”

This paragraph is BS. The line prosecutors recommended a sentence of 9 years for a non-violent felony committed by a first-time offender. How is that evenhanded when compared with average sentences of 4.2 years for violent rapists?

But Mr. Barr’s actions in doing the President’s personal bidding unfortunately speak louder than his words. Those actions, and the damage they have done to the Department of Justice’s reputation for integrity and the rule of law, require Mr. Barr to resign. But because we have little expectation he will do so, it falls to the Department’s career officials to take appropriate action to uphold their oaths of office and defend nonpartisan, apolitical justice.

It’s frightening to think that Protect Democracy would sanction DOJ line prosecutors to undercut their boss based on subjective standards. That’s what’s happening.

This morning, Jessica Tarlov tried pushing the Barr-Stone ‘controversy’. It was a pathetic attempt at spin. Predictably, Tarlov implied that it was wrong for Barr to overrule the 4 rogue Deep State prosecutors who recommended that the court sentence Roger Stone to 9 years in prison.

That’s BS. Barr is their boss, not vice versa. They take their orders from Barr. The Democrats have hinted that this is a major scandal. That’s BS, too. If anything, it’s a major scandal that Jonathan Kravis, Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed and Michael Marando defied Attorney General Barr’s orders. They didn’t have a right to do that.

Further, do Kravis, Zelinsky, Jed and Marando think that Roger Stone deserve twice as long of a prison sentence as a rapist? How did Kravis, Zelinsky, Jed and Marando arrive at that sentence recommendation? Have this quartet made a habit of defying their boss’s orders? If they haven’t, why did they start defying them now?

The thing that Democrats haven’t explained is why they think Roger Stone deserves twice as much prison time as a convicted rapist. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi quickly insisted that there be an investigation. They should be ignored. President Trump should hold a press conference, then tell the nation that the prosecutors lied to Attorney General Barr, then submitted a sentencing recommendation that Attorney General Barr shot down.

Check out this mini-speech by Sen. Schumer about the Barr sentencing recommendation:

This is why Sen. Schumer shouldn’t ever be allowed to be the majority leader. Sen. Schumer knows the facts but he’s ignored them. This is why timelines matter. Let’s go through the timeline.

  1. The jury convicted Roger Stone of lying to Congress.
  2. The Deep State prosecutors, the ones that Sen. Schumer called patriots, met with U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea about a sentencing recommendation.
  3. Shea met with AG Barr. Barr recommended that the prosecutors just lay out the facts of the case and let the judge decide the sentence.
  4. After the prosecutors met with Shea, the prosecutors insisted on recommending a sentence of 7-9 years.
  5. When Barr heard about the sentencing recommendation filing, he told his staff to prepare a different filing to reduce the recommendation to 2-3 years.
  6. When the Deep State prosecutors heard that they’d been overruled by their boss, they resigned one-by-one.
  7. A day later, President Trump tweeted that the Deep State prosecutors (my words, not his) had mistreated Stone.
  8. President Trump praised AG Barr for rectifying the situation.

At no point did President Trump contact AG Barr about the Stone sentencing recommendation. AG Barr, however, went on ABC News for an interview:

According to George Stephanopoulos, the prosecutors made their recommendation on “Monday afternoon. Hours later, on Thursday afternoon, President Trump tweeted”:


Catherine Herridge reported that “Senior DOJ official tells CBS News [that the] Department was shocked to see sentencing recommendation Stone case. This is not what was briefed to Dept. The Dept. believes recommendation is extreme, excessive, grossly disproportionate to offenses.”

I repeat: where’s the scandal? The prosecutors (Kravis, Zelinsky, Jed and Marando) disobeyed AG Barr’s order. When AG Barr submitted a lighter sentence, the Deep State prosecutors either got reassigned or left the DOJ. Now, it’s come out that the jury foreperson is a Democrat activist with an axe to grind against both Trump and Stone. The judge (Obama appointee Amy Berman-Jackson) and Stone’s defense attorney did a sloppy job during voir dire and let Tomeka Hart (the vitriolic activist) become a juror, then become the jury foreperson.

Let me state this emphatically. If Roger Stone lied to Congress, he deserves to go to prison. He just doesn’t deserve to serve 9 years. Democrats should quit their yapping about investigating President Trump. His tweet made AG Barr’s job a bit difficult but it wasn’t illegal by any stretch of the imagination. PERIOD. Lindsey Graham’s Senate Judiciary Committee should investigate the 4 Deep State prosecutors to find out why they made the sentencing recommendation they did despite AG Barr’s lighter recommendation.

Whether we’re talking about Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch or Sally Yates, we aren’t talking about people of integrity. Holder is the only US Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress. In fact, the “vote was 255-67, with 17 Democrats voting in support of a criminal contempt resolution, which authorizes Republicans leaders to seek criminal charges against Holder.”

Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton to talk about their grandkids while she, coincidentally I’m sure, was investigating his wife. Sally Yates served as acting US Attorney General before getting terminated. Later, Jeff Sessions was confirmed as President Trump’s Attorney General. Yates was terminated because she “ordered Justice Dept. lawyers to stop defending Mr. Trump’s executive order banning new arrivals to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.” It’s worth noting that the Supreme Court eventually upheld President Trump’s executive order.

In this article, Ms. Yates wrote “The president has attempted to order up investigations of his perceived political enemies and enlist the department to protect his friends. With every blow, the wall of Justice independence has wobbled a bit more. This week, it teetered on the verge of collapse.”

That’s frightening, but predictable. It’s predictable because Ms. Yates was terminated for insubordination. She defied President Trump’s order to defend his travel ban, a ban that the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional. That’s the textbook case of insubordination or mutiny. Yates continued:

The facts are well known: After federal prosecutors in the Roger Stone case filed the department’s sentencing memorandum, the president publicly attacked Justice’s position as “horrible and very unfair.” He called for prosecution of the “real crimes … on the other side,” a mantra that has become so commonplace from him that it goes largely without comment. The prosecutors were ordered by Justice Department leadership to significantly cut their recommendation; they refused, and all four resigned from the case, with one quitting his job entirely.

What’s most disgusting is that Bill Barr, the properly confirmed Attorney General, overruled the rogue prosecutors, not President Trump. What’s next most disgusting is Ms. Yates’ insinuation that the so-called career prosecutors are pure-hearted people who play by the rules and only have America’s best interests at heart. That’s BS.

These prosecutors ignored what the Attorney General and the US Attorney for DC recommended for sentencing. Then these rogue prosecutors quit when their supervisors clipped their wings after the prosecutors recommended Roger Stone serve a prison sentence of 7-to-9 years. That’s twice the length that the average rapist in DC receives in that court.

I’d love hearing Ms. Yates justify why a first time offender who didn’t commit a violent crime should receive a 9-year sentence but a violent offender should get a 4 year sentence. Further, I’d love hearing Ms. Yates explain why she thinks it’s ok for prosecutors to ignore the orders of their supervisors. Frankly, if they hadn’t quit, I would’ve wished that Barr would’ve fired them. Check out the montage in this video:

Since Ms. Yates didn’t tell you what happened, Kim Strassel will:

Justice sources tell me that interim U.S. Attorney Tim Shea had told the department’s leadership he and other career officials in the office felt the proposed sentence was excessive. As the deadline for the filing neared, the prosecutors on the case nonetheless threatened to withdraw from the case unless they got their demands for these stiffest of penalties. Mr. Shea—new to the job—suffered a moment of cowardice and submitted to this ultimatum. The filing took Justice Department leaders by surprise, and the decision to reverse was made well before Mr. Trump tweeted, and with no communication with the White House. The revised filing, meanwhile, had the signature of the acting supervisor of the office’s criminal division, who is a career civil servant, not a political appointee.

In other words, the rogue prosecutors persecuted Mr. Stone because he’s a longtime political ally of President Trump. I’m not condoning what Stone did, though I don’t know that there shouldn’t be a mistrial due to the jury foreperson’s blatant bias. If he’s guilty of lying to Congress, then it’s proper for him to serve 2-3 years.

The DOJ can’t properly function without people of integrity who follow the rules. These prosecutors aren’t, in my opinion, people of integrity. They certainly didn’t follow the chain of command. President Trump tweeted after Bill Barr filed a new recommendation with the court. It’s impossible for President Trump to interfere after-the-fact.

Adam Schiff thought that he had another impeachment scandal within his grasp. Unfortunately for him, Nancy Pelosi won’t get rolled by AOC this time. Kim Strassel’s article highlights the silliness of the latest fiasco. Democrats of all persuasions criticized Bill Barr for politicizing the Roger Stone case. Virtually immediately, Pelosi and Schumer insisted that Barr resign and that an investigation be started. Richard Blumenthal demanded Barr’s resignation. From the campaign trail, Elizabeth Warren said that Barr should be impeached if Barr doesn’t resign.

Well.

Let’s get to the bottom of the situation. Thanks to Ms. Strassel, we know that she acted like the adult in charge rather than the infants whining for attention. (The infants are Schiff, Schumer, Pelosi, Warren and Blumenthal.) Rather than whining, Ms. Strassel called one of her contacts within the DOJ and asked some basic questions. Here’s what Ms. Strassel found out:

Justice sources tell me that interim U.S. Attorney Tim Shea had told the department’s leadership he and other career officials in the office felt the proposed sentence was excessive. As the deadline for the filing neared, the prosecutors on the case nonetheless threatened to withdraw from the case unless they got their demands for these stiffest of penalties. Mr. Shea—new to the job—suffered a moment of cowardice and submitted to this ultimatum. The filing took Justice Department leaders by surprise, and the decision to reverse was made well before Mr. Trump tweeted, and with no communication with the White House. The revised filing, meanwhile, had the signature of the acting supervisor of the office’s criminal division, who is a career civil servant, not a political appointee.

My first reaction is this: that’s it? My next reaction is similar. Democrats must really hate President Trump if they’re going to make this molehill into a mountain. Either that or they’re too stupid to run anything beyond a kid’s lemonade stand.

Ms. Strassel didn’t act like an infant. Instead, she asked some questions before insisting that Barr resign or be impeached. That’s what rational people do. They find out the facts first. Democrats (like Schiff, Pelosi and Schumer) insist that Barr resign. That’s immaturity personified.

Next, let’s factor in Andy McCarthy’s opinions on the Stone sentence:

The fact is, it was well within the legitimate power of the attorney general to countermand the Stone prosecutors’ submission to the court — i.e., to substitute a recommendation that the court impose a stiff but reasonable prison sentence on Stone, in place of the prosecutors’ suggestion of an excessive term.

More to the point, what we are witnessing in the media-Democrat commentariat is a manufactured controversy, reminiscent of their mau-mauing the president’s Ukraine indiscretion into an impeachable offense. Hence, the unhinged calls for Barr’s impeachment. The judge, not the Department of Justice (DOJ), will determine Stone’s sentence. The shrieking over DOJ’s Stone sentencing memos, topped by the theatrical resignation of the four prosecutors (who now want to be seen as stalwarts against politicized law enforcement after they conducted a patently politicized prosecution), is much ado about nothing.

This might’ve been a bigger deal if President Trump had interfered with an investigation, instead of with a sentencing. It isn’t like President Trump has the authority to overrule the jury without pardoning Stone. That’s something that’s done for all the world to see. The people would get to consider that when voting. That’s the ultimate check and balance.

It’s time for Adam Schiff to put his impeachment gavel down, take a deep breath, then go back to doing intelligence oversight like he’s supposed to do.

President Trump’s DOJ has filed a federal lawsuit against California for entering into a cap-and-trade agreement with Quebec. Apparently, California thinks that it doesn’t need to comply with the Constitution. In the lawsuit, the DOJ states “”The state of California has veered outside of its proper constitutional lane to enter into an international emissions agreement. The power to enter into such agreements is reserved to the federal government, which must be able to speak with one voice in the area of US foreign policy. California’s unlawful cap-and-trade agreement with Quebec undermines the President’s ability to negotiate competitive agreements with other nations as the President sees fit.”

In Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, it states that the president “shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.” The federal government was created, at least in part, so that the states could speak with one voice internationally. Of course, California thinks differently:

In a statement Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, slammed the cap-and-trade suit as “political retribution” and another example of the Trump administration’s “abysmal record of denying climate change and propping up big polluters.”

“For years our state has proudly participated in a number of environmental partnerships that tackle the devastating effects of climate change to our health and economy. This latest attack shows that the White House has its head in the sand when it comes to climate change and serves no purpose other than continued political retribution,” Newsom said.

Regardless of what Gov. Newsom said, the truth is that the Constitution assigns authorities to specific parts of the government. States weren’t authorized to negotiate international treaties. That authority is given exclusively to the President.

This video highlights as fact that Gov. Newsom isn’t too bright:

Might the higher prices be because California imposes irrational regulations? That’s likely why prices are higher, though Xavier Becerra won’t admit that. Finally, expect California to lose this lawsuit.

First, today isn’t President Trump’s birthday. June 14th is. The reason I’ve titled this post is because Michael Horowitz has announced that he’s releasing the much-anticipated DOJ Inspector General’s report on President Trump’s birthday.

According to Fox News reporting, “In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Horowitz said ‘we anticipate releasing the report on June 14, 2018.’ That day is also President Trump’s birthday. The inspector general also told committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in the letter that he has accepted the invitation to testify about the report on June 18, meaning his scheduled appearance before the committee is being delayed again.”

If Andrew McCabe, Jim Comey and Loretta Lynch aren’t worried, they should be. It’s already been reported that McCabe wants immunity to testify against Comey. Lawmakers are already hesitant to grant him immunity. If McCabe’s attorney can’t offer an impressive proffer, then McCabe shouldn’t get immunity. If he’s subpoenaed to testify, he can plead the Fifth and take his chances with a DC jury:

Horowitz’s review has already put top FBI official Andrew McCabe in legal jeopardy. The Justice Department’s internal watchdog sent a criminal referral for McCabe in April to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington.

Good luck with that, Andy.

The inspector general’s review uncovered the anti-Trump texts from FBI official Peter Strzok, who famously called Trump an ‘idiot’ and texted about an ‘insurance policy’ against a Trump presidency. Strzok had been assigned to Robert Mueller’s special counsel probe, but has since been reassigned.

I suspect that Mr. Horowitz’s investigative findings will lead to several people in the DOJ and FBI wearing prison uniforms.

CNN’s article about President Trump starts off by reading like a fashion critique rather than like a serious news article.

Early in the article, it says “This may be the first Department of Justice criminal investigation ordered via Twitter feed. Given the importance of a presidential decision regarding a possible criminal investigation, the use of Twitter was completely inappropriate. It trivializes the entire process. What’s next in the presidential communication arsenal, the use of Facebook and Instagram with photos?”

The message from that paragraph seems to be ‘how dare he use Twitter to express his opinion’. That’s kind of disappointing considering the fact that the investigation President Trump ordered was about determining whether the Obama Justice Department or the Obama FBI sought to infiltrate the Republicans’ presidential campaign for strictly partisan reasons. At a time when people get their news from social media, why wouldn’t President Trump use Twitter to put pressure on the Deep State? Why wouldn’t President Trump use Twitter to put John Brennan, Jim Comey and Jim Clapper on notice that they’d better hire a good lawyer?

The CNN article also treats this situation like it was normal:

In modern times, though, most presidents have taken a hands-off approach with respect to specific criminal investigations in a deliberate effort to keep them out of partisan politics and to preserve public respect for the integrity of federal law enforcement authorities.

This investigation is totally about partisanship. The fact that the NYTimes and the Washington Post tried spinning it as the Obama administration’s attempt to protect the Trump campaign is laughable. It’s disgusting that CNN tries peddling that same line in their article:

Part of the DOJ and the FBI ‘s job is after all the conduct of counterintelligence investigations and, if warranted by the evidence, the warning of presidential candidates that the Russians might try to infiltrate their campaigns to influence the American election. One would think that Trump would be grateful rather than suspicious about the warning.

Apparently, CNN didn’t notice that the DOJ and FBI didn’t warn the campaign. Rather, when then-President-Elect Trump insisted that his campaign had been surveilled, people openly ridiculed him, saying that couldn’t happen in America. Now they’re peddling this infiltration of the Trump campaign like it’s a public service? Seriously?

In the end, Trump’s attempt to embarrass his own Department of Justice and FBI is likely to wound only his own presidency. If Inspector General Horowitz makes the highly unlikely finding that the DOJ and the FBI acted criminally in their conduct of a counterintelligence operation related to the Trump campaign, a criminal referral will be necessary.

I’m almost to the end of the article and the ‘reporter’ still hasn’t told us what the investigation is about. I’ve heard about burying the lede but this is ridiculous.

The lede should be that Obama DOJ or FBI political appointees might have tried interfering in a presidential election. While the article hints at that, it certainly doesn’t lead with that.

Sunday’s Twitter order to commence a new investigation to smear the Obama administration is likely to backfire and extend the Mueller investigation. It may also cause Mueller to look at an interesting new idea — was the presidential order to commence such a frivolous investigation itself really an attempt to block the progress of the Mueller investigation and obstruct justice?

What would a CNN article be without them defending either Hillary or the Obama administration? Here’s something for CNN to think about. The thought of a presidential administration of one political party using its intelligence services to gather information on the presidential campaign of the other political party is a true threat to our system of government. There’s nothing trivial about such an investigation. Watching Kimberley Strassel lay this out is what real journalism looks like:

Unlike this CNN ‘article’, Kim Strassel’s articles have been the work product of a professional journalist.

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Judge Mukasey’s op-ed helped open the floodgates questioning the Mueller investigation. Mark Penn’s op-ed is actually more damning because Penn is a Democrat. Penn’s op-ed connects lots of dots that Mueller, Comey and Rosenstein don’t want connected.

For instance, Penn wrote “At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton ‘matter,’ but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done. It is hard to see how a yearlong investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret ‘no aides allowed’ meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac. With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.”

This isn’t the outcome they were hoping for. They were hoping to take down a president they thought wasn’t qualified. Instead, Mueller, Lynch, Rosenstein and Comey have ruined their reputations and their legacies. Straight shooters like Judge Mukasey and Mark Penn are asking all the right questions and making the right observations while putting this puzzle together.

But it is backfiring. They started by telling the story of Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat, as having remembered a bar conversation with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. But how did the FBI know they should talk to him? That’s left out of their narrative. Downer’s signature appears on a $25 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. You don’t need much imagination to figure that he was close with Clinton Foundation operatives who relayed information to the State Department, which then called the FBI to complete the loop. This wasn’t intelligence. It was likely opposition research from the start.

Contributing to the Clinton Foundation isn’t illegal by itself. It’s just convenient for this contributor to point the finger at Mr. Papadopoulos. With the Clintons, it isn’t wise to think that coincidences are truly coincidental. More often than not, these ‘coincidences’ are manufactured with precise intent.

This isn’t flattering to Mueller:

Flush with 16 prosecutors, including a former lawyer for the Clinton Foundation, and an undisclosed budget, the Mueller investigation has been a scorched-earth effort to investigate the entirety of the Trump campaign, Trump business dealings, the entire administration and now, if it was not Russia, maybe it’s some other country.

I’ll put this simply. It’s time to wrap this fishing expedition up. It’s been spinning its wheels for over a year.

In the past, politicians, mostly senators, have warned President Trump not to fire Robert Mueller. This morning, a legal heavyweight wrote this op-ed offering a different opinion. Michael Mukasey’s opinion isn’t coming from a politically-motivated standpoint. It’s coming from a legal standpoint.

He wrote “Recall that the investigation was begun to learn whether the Trump campaign had gotten help unlawfully from Russia. Justice Department regulations permit appointment of a special counsel only if (i) there is reason to think that a federal crime has been committed, and (ii) investigating it would present a conflict of interest for the Justice Department or there is another overriding public reason to take the investigation outside DOJ.” In other words, based on DOJ guidelines, there wasn’t a legitimate basis for launching this investigation.

Judge Mukasey continued, saying “Although Rosenstein apparently tried to correct his mistake in a new appointment memo, he has thus far refused to disclose, even to a federal judge, a complete copy of it. In other investigations supposedly implicating a president, Watergate and Whitewater come to mind, we were told what the crime was and what facts justified the investigation. Not here. Nor have any of the charges filed in the Mueller investigation disclosed the Trump campaign’s criminal acceptance or solicitation of help from the Russians. The one indictment that relates to Russian criminality charges that the Russians hacked Democratic Party computers and committed other social media abuse, but says specifically that if the Trump campaign got the benefit of it, that was ‘unwitting’ — i.e., without criminal intent.”

The harm this fishing expedition is doing is to the Intelligence Community’s reputation. The Deep Staters have tarnished the FBI’s and the DOJ’s reputations. Who knows how long it will take to repair that damage? The political heat is increasing on Mueller to wrap things up. First, it was Judge T.S. Ellis III who questioned the Mueller investigation’s scope. Now, it’s former Attorney General Michael Mukasey questioning Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of a special council.

Sprinkle in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s letter demanding production of Rosenstein’s scope memo. Combine these things and you have pressure building from people who aren’t seen as overtly partisan. That, more than anything, will hurt Mueller’s credibility.

For weeks, Rod Rosenstein has refused to turn over a document now known as the ‘Scope Memo’ to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. The explanation has been that the DOJ thought that turning it over to Nunes would be the same as turning it over to the White House.

That fight is behind the DOJ and Rosenstein. Technically, they won. They won’t have to turn it over to Chairman Nunes. Officially, Rosenstein and the DOJ lost because Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley has demanded to see the memo. In his letter, Chairman Grassley wrote “This Committee likewise should be permitted to review the true nature and scope of the special counsel’s investigation. Like the Judiciary, Congress is a separate branch of government with its own constitutional duties that often require access to Executive Branch information. In this case, the interests relate to both legislative and oversight responsibilities.”

There’s no denying the memo from Grassley from a political standpoint. Rosenstein could win a fight with Chairman Nunes because the media had unjustifiably criticized him. That option doesn’t exist with Chairman Grassley because he’s one of the most decent, well-respected men in DC.

Grassley also appears interested in the timing of the Rosenstein memo. “The August Memorandum states that it addresses the special counsel’s authorization as of the date he was appointed. Why was this memorandum not drafted until August 2017?” Grassley asked.

Grassley has been a supporter of the Mueller investigation, the committee chairman noted. He has publicly warned President Trump against taking steps to shut down the investigation or fire Mueller. “As I have said numerous times, that investigation should be free to follow the facts wherever they lead without any improper outside interference. However, that does not mean that it is immune from oversight or that information about the scope of its authority under existing Department regulations should be withheld from Congress,” Grassley said.

Mueller would face a difficult fight vs. Sen. Grassley if Sen. Grassley pushed him on exceeding his authority. While some want to think this is a law enforcement matter, it’s a political battle, too. In a fight against Sen. Grassley, Rosenstein will lose if it comes to that.