Editorials Election 2016 Russia Investigation

Rod Rosenstein Out, William Barr In: Time To Investigate Deep State Plot Against Trump

Deep State: Now that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has said he’ll leave the Justice Department in mid-March, it’s time to take stock of the damage Rosenstein and others in the Deep State did by quietly plotting to remove President Trump from office. This bureaucratic coup attempt has no parallel in modern U.S. history.


The timing of Rosenstein’s departure is no accident. Following co-plotter and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s bombshell revelation to CBS’ 60 Minutes that Rosenstein suggested using the 25th Amendment as a means to get rid of Trump, Rosenstein had no choice but to leave. He was likely to be fired.

It was made even worse by McCabe’s allegation that Rosenstein also offered to wear a wire on a trip to the White House. Rosenstein claims he was being sarcastic.

So, for Rosenstein, the walls were closing in.

Remember, it was Rosenstein who appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel a mere eight days after FBI Director James Comey was fired for lying. No doubt Rosenstein wasn’t happy that straight-shooter William Barr was confirmed as attorney general in February, putting Rosenstein on a very hot seat.

Deep State Denizens

Of course, we still don’t know what Robert Mueller’s investigation will yield. Will there be a bombshell revelation about Trump? There hasn’t been so far.

Even so, Mueller’s findings are largely irrelevant when it comes to the actions of Rosenstein, McCabe, Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce and Nellie Ohr, and other Deep State denizens, who planned behind the scenes to remove Trump. (We even hear reports that at least two of Trump’s cabinet members were open to supporting the plot).

What they did was plainly illegal, outside the scope of their duties, a violation of the Constitution.

The 25th Amendment is specific as to how it’s to be applied: “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

Abusing The Constitution

The operative phrase here is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” That implies a physical or mental incapacity to do the job. The 25th Amendment was passed in 1965 and ratified in 1967 in response to the assassination of President Kennedy, which left a power vacuum until then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson could be sworn in.

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While it had been tradition to elevate the vice president to the presidency following a president’s death, it was not a constitutional requirement.

Today, as any Democrat and tell you, Trump is able to discharge the powers and duties of his office. And that’s why they want him gone. He’s been too effective.

That non-elected government insiders would plot such a gambit suggests both desperation and a frightening lack of adherence to American constitutional norms. Perhaps they thought that Vice President Mike Pence would go along with it. They reportedly had at least two Cabinet members signed on to the idea, so who knows?

Lies From The Deep State

But this is not how our Constitution works. There is a constitutional remedy for a dishonest president. It’s called impeachment. If Democrats really feel that Trump is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, they can impeach him. Or try to. But they’re on shaky ground. They’ve been calling for his impeachment since before he took office. Impeaching someone for profound policy differences isn’t a part of the Constitution.

Remember, McCabe, Rosenstein and others lied repeatedly. They lied about what they were doing against Trump, to hide it from closer scrutiny.

Calling it an “attempted bureaucratic coup,” Sen. Lindsey Graham on Monday vowed to launch a Senate investigation into the actions of FBI and Justice Department officials.

Good for him. We need to investigate the discussions Rosenstein held with others about taking action against Trump under the 25th Amendment. It reeks of a Banana Republic mentality that is not fitting for a nation guided by the rule of law.

Investigate Hillary Clinton

But, at the same time, we also need to investigate the Deep State’s efforts on behalf of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.

They were so sure she would win they used her campaign’s shaky opposition research — the so-called Trump Dossier put together by former British spy Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS, both funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign — to spy on Trump and, later, to launch their investigation of Trump’s alleged ties with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

There is ample evidence that Hillary Clinton committed actual crimes. She did so both as Secretary of State and as an officer in the Clinton Family Foundation. If so, they warrant prosecution.

And yet, the Justice Department has done nothing but pursue what, at least up to now, appear to be phantom, politically motivated charges of “collusion” against Trump.

Congress should spend some time on the real collusion that occurred between Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the CIA, the FBI and the Justice Department, as part of a larger effort to remove President Trump from office. Her ties and favors to the Russians while secretary of state — and even as the Clinton Foundation received Russian money — looks a lot like old-fashioned graft.

We welcome Graham’s investigation, but that won’t be enough. It’s a job for new Attorney General William Barr. He has the experience, gravitas and clean hands to investigate this criminal mess. We hope he starts soon.


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