MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

NYT: Rosenstein Suggested Secretly Taping Trump, Using the 25th Amendment to Oust Him

Rosenstein was not happy with how Trump handled the James Comey firing.

Terrence Antonio James/TNS/Newscom Oliver Contreras/CNP/AdMedia/NewscomTerrence Antonio James/TNS/Newscom Oliver Contreras/CNP/AdMedia/NewscomFollowing President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly spoke with Justice Department officials about invoking the 25th Amendment. According to The New York Times, Rosenstein also suggested that he or other officials wear a wire and secretly record Trump.

The Times says Rosenstein was upset about how the president fired Comey. When he announced the move, Trump originally cited Comey's mishandling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. The White House also released a memo from Rosenstein criticizing Comey for how he ran the Clinton probe. Rosenstein was reportedly aggravated that Trump had relied on the memo to publicly justify firing Comey. Rosenstein was also reportedly displeased by the way Trump tried to replace Comey. According to the Times, Rosenstein told four Justice Department officials, plus then–Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, that the president wasn't taking the process seriously.

During a meeting with these officials, the Times says, Rosenstein

raised the idea of wearing a recording device or "wire," as he put it, to secretly tape the president when he visited the White House. One participant asked whether Mr. Rosenstein was serious, and he replied animatedly that he was.

If not him, then Mr. McCabe or other F.B.I. officials interviewing with Mr. Trump for the job could perhaps wear a wire or otherwise record the president, Mr. Rosenstein offered. White House officials never checked his phone when he arrived for meetings there, Mr. Rosenstein added, implying it would be easy to secretly record Mr. Trump.

A source who heard Rosenstein's remarks tells CNN that the deputy attorney general was being sarcastic. Other sources tell the Times he was serious.

Rosenstein also reportedly suggested invoking the 25th Amendment, which allows the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to remove the president from office if they think he's unfit.

Rosenstein has vehemently denied the Times' reporting, telling the paper that it is "factually incorrect." He also said that "based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment."

The Times says it based its reporting on multiple anonymous accounts:

Several people described the episodes, insisting on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The people were briefed either on the events themselves or on memos written by F.B.I. officials, including Andrew G. McCabe

CNN reports that those McCabe memos have been given to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the probe into Russian election meddling. Michael R. Bromwich, a lawyer for McCabe, told the Times his client "has no knowledge of how any member of the media obtained those memos."

Rumors have abounded for months that Trump has considered firing Rosenstein, though the president said last month they have a "great relationship."

Photo Credit: Terrence Antonio James/TNS/Newscom Oliver Contreras/CNP/AdMedia/Newscom

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The "failing" Times is heading all the way down the rabbit hole.

  • BYODB||

    I've heard that at the bottom of the rabbit hole there are some really excellent drugs.

  • Rockabilly||

    The New York Fucking Times reported that Saddam had WMDs.

    Well, ASSHOLES, where the fuck is it?

  • Just Say'n||

    Ummmm.....so Trump's supporters were right about a Deep State. I don't think the people who reported this story understands how the rest of the country is going to view this.

    I know you guys are pro-bureaucrat here now, because...well you guys just don't really have any principles. But, most people are not going to see Rosenstein as the good guy here.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    And now these Deep State characters are starting to turn on each other.

    Almost certainly because with the coming mass declassification of documents, they know that the entire truth about the illegal FISAGate sham is about to blow wide open to the entire public,

  • Just Say'n||

    Prediction: Rosenstein is going to be gone soon and we're going to see a flurry of intelligence disclosures from a very angry and even more insane (yes, I think it's possible that he could be even more insane) Trump.

    So, start working on your piece "Only A Nazi Would Provide Government Disclosure, Which We are Now Against for Situational Reasons"

  • Cathy L||

    So all of a sudden a trash NYT story is reliable because you want Rosenstein to look bad? Oh, no, sorry, it's because libertarians are anti-bureaucrat.

  • Just Say'n||

    What?

    I'm just saying that voters are not really receptive to having un-elected bureaucrats undercutting duly elected office holders. This use to be a liberal principle too.

  • Just Say'n||

    More to the point, I think the NYT doesn't realize that this story is not going to make the electorate sympathetic in any way to efforts of the bureaucracy. The way the story was framed was meant to look like a dig against Trump, but if anything it kid of vindicates some of his talking points. I think reporters are too sheltered and removed from the electorate to realize this.

  • Just Say'n||

    The hilarity here is that two totally libertarian commentators are defending bureaucrats because LOL you guys are pathetic

  • Johnimo||

    Just Say'n, Just Say'n, Just Say'n, ... I think you may be spot on the truth here. I think you may be wrong, however, about Rosenstein getting fired by Trump though. I think he (Rod Rosenstein) is kind of neutered by this story, and that at some level Trump likes having him around. Why? RodRose now has to argue, retrospectively and publicly, that he was being entirely facetious when discussing the 25th Amendment. This implies that he never thought Trump should be removed from office.

  • JesseAz||

    Cathy, did you get beyond the headline in your investigatory analysis? This is apparently sourced from Andrew McCabe's memos and his lawyer basically confirmed it. It isn't random anonymous sources.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    Either it's true and Rosenstein is a seditious traitor, or it's false and the NYT is a lying rag. Which do you prefer?

  • Jerry B.||

    Aww, can't we have both?

  • Dizzle||

    No. You're all reading into this too much. Trump just did to the deep state what they're trying to do to him with all these anonymous sourced reports. Trump realized "i can get a bunch of people to tell those rubes at the times a bunch of anonymous sourced crap too"

    Trump is a foil. Always has been. You folks need to understand that. He lets these people make the first move everytime, then he copies their playbook and throws it back in their face two fold.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Rosenstein is the Shallow State. Presidentially appointed.

    The ones here evidently conspiring against Trump are the people that Trump himself appointed, not some permanent bureaucracy thwarting Trump's will.

  • Just Say'n||

    I'm not sure you realize how bad of a defense that is for undermining a democratically elected president as you think it is

  • Just Say'n||

    And McCabe was not appointed by Trump. Try to have some principle

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I'm not saying it vindicates anything.

    I am saying that the current drama isn't due to some "Deep State" conspiracy.

  • Johnimo||

    Oh really! The upper echelons of the FBI and CIA hatched a plot to embarrass Trump and convict him of "conspiring with the Russians," whatever that means. You don't think that's the Deep State? What would it take for you to believe it?

  • Horny Lizard||

    And that fact alone completely eviscerates Just Sayin's entire story not that his bs was ever credible.

  • Just Say'n||

    McCabe was totes appointed by Trump, too?

    Start making sense numbskull and read the NYT story

  • Horny Lizard||

    Your bullshit doesn't even matter. They either have the goods on Trump or they don't. Cohen and Manafort are talking.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    And Manafort, at least, is specifically not talking about Trump. It's just looking worse and worse for Mueller's fans.

  • Sevo||

    Horny Lizard|9.21.18 @ 5:29PM|#
    "They either have the goods on Trump or they don't. Cohen and Manafort are talking."

    Speaking of bullshit which doesn't matter...
    You got an in? What's Manafort talking about, that unpaid parking ticket. You lame asshole have been competing for the gold in conclusion-jumping since 11/8/16 and falling on your faces ever since.
    You lost, loser. Grow up.

  • JesseAz||

    Jeff... Where did rosenstein work prior to being appointed? Think slowly. Don't hurt yourself.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    J Edgar Hoover was presidentially appointed too, and he is the archetype of Deep State.

    And of course, you and your leftist pals would go apeshit if Rosenstein were fired, so claiming that he is a presidentially-chosen officer is quite disingenuous.

  • BYODB||

    It's now being floated that this is an attempt to goad Trump into firing Rosenstein before the election to help drive Democrat turnout, get their blue wave, and set a basis for impeachment somehow. Not sure I believe it, but an interesting idea.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    That's a pretty reasonable hypothesis.

    Certainly the chief executive of any other government or large organization would have cause to dismiss a similarly treacherous functionary. However, post Watergate, the dismissal of the Attorney General, or his stand-in, is fraught with peril.

    And, in the words of Chuck Schumer, "You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you." Say what you will about Chuck, he understands just how evil the US government can be.

    There certainly should be no doubt that the NYT reports this #Resistance story with the objective of besmirching Trump and triggering an untoward response.

    Based upon recent events, it has become evident that the US more closely resembles a secret police state than the republic that we learned about in junior high school.

  • CE||

    Deep State? Do they have a Deep Science Division?

  • Dillinger||

    six peeps is a big Round Table ... easy for one to leak to NYT ... only morons take place in a meeting like that

  • JesseAz||

    Already been leaked that the information is from McCabe's memos that were gathered up by the special council. Lots of leakers there.

  • SIV||

    Rosenstein should feel lucky this was reported by the disreputable fake news mongers at the NYTS because if the story is legit every patriotic American should support Trump if he personally shoots the USAAG .

  • Just Say'n||

    WTF?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Haven't you met SIV? I know Citizen X isn't around here anymore to remind us he's an idiot all the time, but you should know this.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    Is she a parody poster?

  • Sevo||

    No, commie-kid, just not quite the fool you are.

  • SIV||

    As I recall from civics class, this is the appropriate way for a legitimate head of state to deal with a failed coup d'é·tat

  • Dillinger||

    Saddam-lyfe

  • Rat on a train||

    SIV is sad about all the chickens that died during the hurricane.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    What I'm wondering is what it is that Rosenstein expected the mic to pick up that would be 25th Amendment fodder. The 25th is not "remove the president because we think his policies are fucked up".

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I swear when Trump was first elected people were throwing it around like that. Just a "we can remove him because he's incompetent."

  • Just Say'n||

    Congress can remove a president for any old reason, even though impeachment calls for "high crimes and misdemeanors". I understand that the 25th Amendment defines removal as due to the president being "incapacitated", but that can be vague.

    I think it's a political question whether or not you actually need a reason to remove a president under Congress' authority to impeach or the 25th Amendment. And it's better if we view it that way.

    Remove more presidents and let the people decide what to do with those who removed him (or her)

  • Bearded Spock||

    That's exactly why the Founders gave the power of impeachment to the House and only required a simple majority to impeach: the House could easily express its outrage at the president and if the voters didn't like it then they could throw the bums out in the next election.

    In the meantime, he wouldn't be removed from office unless a supermajority of the Senate agreed.

    So Congress has the ability to cater to the mob but also make sure nothing bad happens as a result.

  • CE||

    Impeachment power wasn't a free pass. There was supposed to be a legitimate legal reason.

    But I guess that never stopped Congress before.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I don't have a good answer. I can definitely sympathize with the idea that impeachment and congressional action being a more common occurrence. But I don't know what the effect of that would be.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    BUCS, lefties still are saying that.

  • Shirley Knott||

    It's frat-boy bluster. "Let's secretly record him, then we can get him."
    "I know something you don't" is probably the oldest power ploy in existence. And it's usually empty of anything more meaningful than "I've got a secret, nyah nyah nyah."

  • Rockabilly||

    The FBI has a tape of "Shirley Knott," but it has a 'man' voice on it. Possible trans gender 'nut job.'

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its hillary.

  • markm23||

    Too many of today's Democrats genuinely think that anyone who disagrees with their policies is incompetent. And after the election many of them were so delusional that they (1) forgot that Congress is majority Republican right now, and (2) thought that impeaching Trump would make Hillary President, not Pence. There's no requirement that Hollywood stars, so-called journalists, or members of Congress be mentally competent...

    But to remove a President who resists under the 25th Amendment requires the agreement of the Vice President, several cabinet members (who were appointed by the President), and a 2/3 majority of each house of Congress. Except for only requiring disability rather than "high crimes and misdemeanors" (which can mean whatever 218 Congressmen and 67 Senators want it to mean - if they dare go home and face their constituents after calling something like consensual ass grabbing a crime), It's actually more difficult than impeachment.

  • DiegoF||

    If this is indeed true, of course, Trump should fire Rosenstein imediately. It shows not only that he was actively discussing ousting Trump, which alone is surely a damn good reason to fire him, but that the Deputy Attorney General was not even interested in doing so with any Constitutional legitimacy! If he is upset with how Trump fired Comey, or if he sees any other impropriety or abuse of power in Trump's reactions to DOJ activity, the proper redress is impeachment not 25A. The 25A is not there so you can declare someone "unable to perform their duties" when you find the manner in which they perform their duties objectionable--or even unethical, reprehensible, criminal, what have you. If he was talking 25A Rosenstein was plotting a bloodless coup against the President and he is a grave danger to the republic. For its sake he needs to be fired as surely as MacArthur when he threatened civilian control. We don't need putsches any more than we need generalissimos.

  • SIV||

    Trump should fire at Rosenstein imediately

    I wonder what Trump carries? Do NYC toting licenses list an "authorized weapon", or are they good for whatever you feel like that day?

  • Just Say'n||

    "The 25A is not there so you can declare someone "unable to perform their duties"

    I disagree. I share the sentiment that this is outrageous as it is a bureaucratic coup against a duly elected office holder, but I don't think any of the wording for why a president can or cannot be removed is really a legal question so much as it is a political question.

    I'm more lax in allowing the removal of presidents by Congress or his cabinet (he chose them). The American people should decide what should be the consequence for those who do remove a president, rather than the courts.

  • Just Say'n||

    And I don't think the journo crowd realizes that there will be severe consequences from the electorate for attempts to remove a duly elected president without some compelling reason. Even if that president is named "Trump".

    Journos are really sheltered or blinded by their own partisanship if they don't realize this

  • JesseAz||

    Not so sure. This may be the final stake into apathy for half of America which could be what they actually want.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Congress can just impeach a president.

    The 25A allows the president to answer a cabinet claim of presidential incapacity. Congress then decides. Congress decides under impeachments rules anyway.

  • DiegoF||

    I get what you're saying but I think it is possible for a constitution to draw or suggest limitations on the legitimate exercise of power by a branch of government, and its specifying of a check by a different branch of government. There is daylight between the two concepts. We are so used to seeing, and solemnly deferring to, judicial review of Constitutionally questionable statutes and executive actions that it's too easy to slide into thinking of judicial review as being the be all and end all of constitutionality. It is not. Remember that George Washington vetoed a few bills because he thought they were unconstitutional, which actually he thought of as the only reason a President should...

  • DiegoF||

    ...For instance in impeachment although "high crimes and misdemeanors" is an old English legal-constitutional term that gives the impeaching body enormous discretion to police abuse of power well beyond actions that are actually criminal--important because we are dealing with officials that often have extremely wide legal license, above all the American President--there is such a thing as, OK they are impeaching the official simply because they don't like him or his politics; they are impeaching him illegitimately. SCOTUS will not intervene under any circumstances for the simple matter of fact that COTUS does not give them the power to do so. It does not mean there is no fact of the matter as to whether Congress is acting unconstitutionally, or abusing its power; it's just a product of the fact that the relevant clause in the Constitutional article does not grant it that particular power to check, it could easily have been otherwise.

    Remember after all that Constitutionality in this country has an objective, factual existence over and above what anyone's opinions on the matter might be, even the judiciary--otherwise we would be stuck saying that the judiciary itself cannot act unconstituionally, that there is no objective legal concept of such a thing!

  • DiegoF||

    ...So yeah you make a good point. The Dems have been so stupid and blinded with rage at condemning Dershowitz for correctly pointing out that Trump has committed no crimes, that they have ignored that with every pointing out of the extremely broad legal discretion that POTUS has, he is similarly taking an axe to the weird, comforting, completely fictitious national myth that there is some sort of strict and definite standard of propriety for impeaching a President--whereas there is by design an extremely broad amount of discretion of judgment given to Congress, to match the extremely broad legal scope of legitimacy that POTUS has. But that doesn't mean that, say, it is perfectly within the Constitution for them to impeach POTUS just because they feel like it; just because there is no one but the electorate to police Constitutionality does not mean there is no fact of the matter. Policing by the electorate, though "political," is a legitimate part of Constitutional enforcement just as much as judicial review!

    And I think that in contrast to impeachment a 25A has a "scope of legitimacy" as well, a real question of Constitutional fact--whether or not the Courts do or should get involved to interfere!

  • DiegoF||

    *25A has a "scope of legitimacy" just like impeachment. The contrast comes in that 25A's is quite facially MUCH more narrow; the further fact that it may not be SCOTUS's power to interfere in either is a separate one.

  • BYODB||

    Given the circumstances of the passage of the 25th I think it's intention is absolutely crystal clear, but of course the Supreme Court itself ignores much of the Constitution so...eh? *shrugs* We've seen what have happened to the commerce clause and necessary and proper, who knows what's next.

  • Philadelphia Collins||

    Article 1, Section 10. Ignoring that makes the whole statist shitshow possible.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    But, I don't think we can assume the report is remotely accurate. If you were part of a cabel of low level flunkies trying to undermine the administration from within, what would be better than making up stories about the guys higher up the chain doing the plotting, getting the details straight, and then all leaking the same phoney tale to the media so that they would run with it?

    Driving a wedge into the top from the bottom.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    QAnon strikes again!

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Yep. And Grassley has already offered to have the entire committee fly out there to California, or anywhere she is willing to testify.

    This woman is a liar and a nutcase, and has no intention of gettting put under oath anywhere or at any time. The entire purpose of this absurd, pathetic charade is to try and stall for time.

  • Ron||

    Grasseley has even offered to meet her in her home or wherever.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    When she's drunk, presumably.

  • JWatts||

    That can't be true. I'm going to remain doubtful of this story until it's confirmed.

  • DiegoF||

    The link is to Politico, so it's not like you're reading it on the Ralph Retort or something. Seems the good Professor is traumatized by "confined spaces"--and who could blame her after what Kavanaugh put her through!--and so cannot fly.

    If Ben Shapiro misses this opportunity to publicly buy her a seat on the most spacious, luxurious, 180-degree-reclining first-class section flying in the air today--one that would clearly put whatever Civic Hybrid cabin she was planning on jamming herself into on a cross-country trip to shame--he is no longer my little clickbait whore that is for sure.

  • Tony||

    Full public gynecological exam or he's innocent.

  • Don't look at me.||

    I'm not a gynecologist, but I'll take a look.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tonys not a proctologist but he will take a probe.

  • josh||

    Please tell me I'm not the only one who secretly hopes they all wind up recording one another. I've always thought government should be a reality show and remove all doubt, so we can just get on with the revolution already.

  • Just Say'n||

    I would watch that for sure

  • No Yards Penalty||

    We already are.

  • Bearded Spock||

    I am dumbfounded the NYT even published this article, because there's no way it makes them look good and no way it makes Trump look bad.

    If it is true, then it's prima facie evidence of a Deep State Conspiracy at the Justice Department to stop Trump by any means necessary, legal or not.

    And since Rosenstein appointed Mueller, it also taints that investigation as a partisan witch hunt.

    However, if it's false, then it makes the New York Times look like an anti-Trump gossip rag that will publish anything regardless of veracity to make him look bad -- which, incidentally, is exactly what Trump claims it is.

    Amazing.

  • Microaggressor||

    then it makes the New York Times look like an anti-Trump gossip rag

    Well...

    The Times says it based its reporting on multiple anonymous accounts:

    Several people described the episodes, insisting on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The people were briefed either on the events themselves or on memos written by F.B.I. officials, including Andrew G. McCabe

    Really makes you think.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "Rosenstein also reportedly suggested invoking the 25th Amendment, which allows the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to remove the president from office if they think he's unfit."

    1. Rosenstein was/is not a cabinet level officer.

    2. 25A lets the VP temporarily assume the president's authority. It is not and option for permanently removing an unfit president.

  • GoatOnABoat||

    And basically the reason for the 25th is in case the president has an injury or a stroke or something along those lines the prevents him from carrying out his duties.

  • Eddy||

    Or gets captured by the Germans.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    What are they afraid of?

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    That the Germans would send him back with a note that says "We don't want him, you keep him." :)

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    In theory, yes. But the 25th amendment process is a mess.

    If the VP has most of the cabinet on his side, he can act as president for 21-23 days (depending on whether Congress is in session) before forced to step down. And nothing prevents him from initiating another 21-23 day period as acting president immediately after that. The only way the VP could be forced to stop doing this would be if he is impeached and removed, or loses the support of the majority of the cabinet.

  • markm23||

    The President can instantly fire everyone in the cabinet but the VP, so if the VP could assemble the cabinet majority needed twice, the President probably _is_ incompetent.

    And in this case remember who the key person is in the first place: Pence. It's not going to happen.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Exactly. The president can respnd to a cabinet claim of incapacity and then congress decides.

    Congress can decide anyway since they can impeach the president for virtually any reason.

  • GoatOnABoat||

    "The Times says it based its reporting on multiple anonymous accounts"

    'Nuff said...

  • Magnitogorsk||

    Meh, I'm sure these will just be dismissed as more anonymous rumors spread by the failing NYT. No way the right wing media will just run with this report as if its gospel because they happen to actually like this rumor

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    Fucking diabolical. You know what happened, right? Obama travelled back in Time in order to plant a mind control device in Rod Rosenstein's head so that he would become Head of the Deep State in order to bring about a socialist revolution so that we they! could throw Don Jr. in a gulag. I mean, what else could it be?

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Because of the heroic efforts of patriotic government employees like Rosenstein and Mueller — or "the deep state" as the alt-right calls them — Drumpf will be removed from office by this time next year. The official reason might be that he's mentally unfit, or that he colluded with Russia. But the result will be the same: an end to the worst presidency in American history.

    #NotMyPresident
    #StillWithHer
    #Impeach
    #TrumpRussia

  • GoatOnABoat||

    #DrainTheSwamp
    #LockHerUp
    #4MoreYears
    #LeftWingWetDreams

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    Wouldn't you like that you fucking douche? After 8 years of socialist governance by Obama and the resultant Greek-like anarchy on the streets one thought comes to mind... didn't you get enough of Obama? I mean, how many quarters of private sector economic growth are enough for you guys?

  • TuIpa||

    Go away shreek. Shitty socks like this are why you lost your password, and you still haven't learned your lesson.

  • Just Say'n||

    Yup. This is Cathy. You're really bad at this

  • Rockabilly||

    #HillaryFucksHorses.

    #FuckTheMedia

    #FuckANTIFA

    #FuckTheGovernment

  • Rich||

    A source who heard Rosenstein's remarks tells CNN that the deputy attorney general was being sarcastic.

    Ah, the ol' Hit defense!

    Perhaps Christine Ford is being sarcastic.

  • Rich||

    Hit and Run, then. Sheesh!

  • ||

    There are various readings of this report.
    In his public appearances Rosenstein comes across as an extremely cautious operator. It is probably that that infuriates the president.
    One version would be that Rosenstein, on his job a couple of weeks, was so shocked by what he saw of the president's MO that he did contemplate some drastic measures.
    The second: Rosenstein had just delivered Comey's head on a platter to the president, when he realized that his public persona was suffering for delivering a completely unbelievable reason for Comey's firing: having violated Clinton's rights. Hence he tried to atone for his sin with drastic measures.
    The third is that bad faith people blow up some intemperate remarks into giving the president reason to fire Rosenstein, whether or not to bolster or undermine the president.
    I find fascinating to read the latter on right-wing media, particularly since the report was published by the "up-to-no-good" grey lady.
    Occam's razor would suggest that Rosenstein blew some steam off.

  • Mark22||

    Occam's razor would suggest that Rosenstein is a power hungry bureaucrat whose moral compass is busted.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Rosenstein got his moral compass dial stuck up comeys ass.

  • ||

    May I remind people that the twenty-fifth Amendment erects even higher hurdles to remove a sitting president than impeachment? I suggest you read the full text on your own (can't type full source on https://constitutioncenter.org). There is the involvement of the vice-president and the cabinet, and after some back and forth both Houses of Congress have to determine with two-thirds majorities each the inability of the president to exercise his duties.
    The "deep state" on its own can do little more than call to the attention of the vice-president and the cabinet what they perceive as signs of disability. BTW they would be in dereliction of duty if there were indications and they would not report it.
    Secretly wiring conversations with the president is a different kettle of fish.

  • Vesparado||

    It is apparent from his comments that Rosenstein had trusted access to the President of the United States and his conversations. While we're intended to be left with the impression that he didn't carry out this or some similar plan (thus compromising national security as well as betraying his trust), how are we to know what he in fact did?

    Rosenstein needs to picked up immediately and subjected to hostile interrogation. Then he needs to be fired, disbarred and prohibited from occupying any government post again.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Wasnt rosenstein pro-water boarding like mccain?

  • Tony||

    What a merry day of misrule it will be when it turns out that Trump is a sane, competent, well-spoken statesmen ushering in a new golden age of America whom no sensible person would consider booting from office.

  • Rockabilly||

    Tony =======

    The New York Fucking Times reported that Iraq had WMD.

    Where the fuck are they?

    Is the New York Fucking Times run by leftist war mongers?

    Are they an arm of the Military Industrial Fucking Complex?

  • Tony||

    True, the New York Times cannot possibly have printed anything truthful since Judith Miller was employed there. You must have gotten at least a B+ in logic class.

  • CE||

    Well the golden age is here, but it's financed by trillion dollar deficits.

  • Jeep's Blues||

    To quote Alonzo Harris from Training Day, Donald Trump has got himself surrounded by a pack of disloyal, fool-ass, bitch-made punks. This whole 'Resistance' cabal of self-anointed national saviors is unlike anything I've ever witnessed.

    That said, it's interesting to watch and hear those, mostly from the 'Resistance' side of things, continue to delegitimize the concept of the deep state. Mike Lofgren, who borrowed the phrase from the novelist John Le Carré, wrote about it in 2014, well before the Trump era. One of the better essays I've ever read, published by the way with Bill Moyer, that rabid Donald Trump loyalist. The interview Mr. Moyer did with Mr. Lofgren is probably still on YouTube.

    There's nothing particularly 'sinister' or 'nefarious' about the deep state as it operates in plain sight. It's simply entrenched individuals in and around government, finance and national security who seek to keep and expand their power.

  • Jeep's Blues||

    ETA: I found the most trenchant quote from Mr. Lofgren's essay "Anatomy of the Deep State" (published February 21, 2014 on billmoyers.com) about the mission of the deep state to be this:

    "They are deeply dyed in the hue of the official ideology of the governing class, an ideology that is neither specifically Democrat nor Republican. Domestically, whatever they might privately believe about essentially diversionary social issues such as abortion or gay marriage, they almost invariably believe in the "Washington Consensus": financialization, outsourcing, privatization, deregulation and the commodifying of labor. Internationally, they espouse 21st-century "American Exceptionalism": the right and duty of the United States to meddle in every region of the world with coercive diplomacy and boots on the ground and to ignore painfully won international norms of civilized behavior. To paraphrase what Sir John Harrington said more than 400 years ago about treason, now that the ideology of the Deep State has prospered, none dare call it ideology."

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Very interesting essay.
    "But there is another more structural reason the Deep State may have peaked in the extent of its dominance. While it seems to float above the constitutional state, its essentially parasitic, extractive nature means that it is still tethered to the formal proceedings of governance. The Deep State thrives when there is tolerable functionality in the day-to-day operations of the federal government. As long as appropriations bills get passed on time, promotion lists get confirmed, black (i.e., secret) budgets get rubber-stamped, special tax subsidies for certain corporations are approved without controversy, as long as too many awkward questions are not asked, the gears of the hybrid state will mesh noiselessly. But when one house of Congress is taken over by tea party Wahhabites, life for the ruling class becomes more trying."
    Things have obviously evolved since this was written but it does explain the unified opposition to Trump by the ruling class and their partners in the media. They'd have been happy with Hilary or any of the other Republican candidates. But Trump explicitly promised to "drain the swamp". His actual policies are irrelevant but he poses a real threat to business as usual.

  • CE||

    Liberals live loney, empty hate-filled lives. They are so desperate to search for meaning that they see themselves as warriors for social justice, champions for windmills (tilted or not), and slightly more pleasant global temperatures as an existential crisis that can only be combated by building and subsidizing millions of new electric cars, rather than just driving a more economical old beater.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Even the NYT editors can't be stupid enough to think this story will make Trump the bad guy and the FBI the good guys, can they?
    Trump has all the reasons he needs right now to fire Rosenberg AND Mueller. Like now, while they're three cocktails into their Friday afternoon whinefest at the DC Moxies.

  • CE||

    CNN was practically salivating thinking just that today -- see! even a senior Trump official thinks there might be a 25A case against him! The fact that they were proving Trump supporters' point about a deep state conspiracy to oust him by any means available, and that the whole episode amounted to a slice of nothing cheese on a double nothing burger seemed to escape them.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Rosenstein is NOT a senior Trump administration official.

    Rosenstein is a senior bureaucrat, which is likely neck deep in one of America's most exposed coup attempts.

  • Mark22||

    During a meeting with these officials, the Times says, Rosenstein raised the idea of wearing a recording device or "wire," as he put it, to secretly tape the president when he visited the White House. One participant asked whether Mr. Rosenstein was serious, and he replied animatedly that he was.

    It isn't paranoia if they're really out to get you.

    Are Times editors really deluded enough to think that this helps their political cause?

  • Jeep's Blues||

    The 25th Amendment angle I find to be another arrow in the quiver of Trump-induced neuroses meant to somehow magically disappear him from office. Add 'Russian collusion', Stormy Daniels, emoluments, Access Hollywood, anonymous Op-Eds and other sorts of wishful fantasia.

    The original use and intent of the 25th was to provide a constitutionally sound framework to transfer authority from the president to the vice president or others in the case of death or medical incapacitation. As a poster noted above it's not intended to be a corrective for boorish, infantile, intractible or publicly hostile personalities. Note to mention it would require over half his Cabinet and 2/3 of each house of Congress to enact, but a sound medical basis would be required. This is anti-Trump phantasy at it's best.

  • Jeep's Blues||

    ETA: to death or medical incapacitation I would also add some type of derangement or madness. But it would have to be medically quantifiable by impaneled physicians or clinicians. It can't just be "Man this MF DJT sho' be actin' a fool!"

  • Sevo||

    "It can't just be "Man this MF DJT sho' be actin' a fool!""
    Tell that to Tony.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony is a racing lunatic, so him understanding anything but pill time is asking a lot.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    *raving

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    The amendment text is vague as to the criteria for presidential "incapacity". It certainly doesn't specify that there needs to be a medical basis.

    In practice, as long as the VP has the majority of the cabinet on his side, and avoids being impeached and removed, he can repeatedly take over the presidency for 21-23 day periods.

  • CE||

    This time they've got him. This isn't the end, but it's the beginning of the end for his administration. Or at least the beginning of a new beginnning of the end?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its the end of the beginning for sure.

  • Sevo||

    First:
    "Following President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly spoke with Justice Department officials about invoking the 25th Amendment. According to The New York Times, Rosenstein also suggested that he or other officials wear a wire and secretly record Trump."

    Smells horribly like the Turkish coup to me.
    ------------------------------
    And then:
    "Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the probe into Russian election meddling."

    Pretty sure he's overseeing probes into unpaid parking tickets and money laundering.
    There remains, well over a year and a half, absolutely no evidence of 'meddling' other than some lame gifs.
    You're supposed to be the 4th estate, not an arm of the DNC, for pete's sake.

  • Brian||

    TREASON!

  • Tony||

    I have a funny feeling our president might be a deranged idiot.

  • Sevo||

    Given your distant connection with reality, that's a truly worthless statement.

  • Tony||

    You can't possibly think this is going to end well.

  • Sevo||

    "You can't possibly think this is going to end well."

    Yeah, you fucking ignoramus, for the last two years you've been hoping that there is some reason that you lost other than that hag is as fucking pathetic as you.
    Tony, at least 50 times over the last two years: "THIS time, they really GOT him!"
    No, they don't. Not one shred of evidence. Not ONE.
    Fuck off, you slimy excuse for humanity.

  • Tony||

    You don't know what evidence they have. They're not done yet.

    Why such emotional investment in a politician who is obviously going to end his career in disgrace, if not prison?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump is going down as the best president in over 90 years.

  • Conchfritters||

    Yeah, but so what, there are plenty of them in Washington DC. And they will miss the fuck out of him when he's gone. These past two years (almost) have been epic so far, even by Washington standards. I only wish Ted Kennedy were alive so Trump could tweet about what a total loser he is (was).

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    " I only wish Ted Kennedy were alive so Trump could tweet about what a total loser he is (was)."
    Sweet!

  • Johnimo||

    This story is almost 180 degrees from how it was reported on Fox News, which states that it's clear that Rosenstein was arguing with McCabe and being facetious when talking about invoking the 25th Amendment. Clearly, we're not clear as to the meaning of his statements.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

  • Snarkonin||

    The NY Times you say? Even more unreliable and umpredictable than Trump. This is some wilderness of mirrors bullshit, please wake me when its all sorted out.

  • damikesc||

    Test

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Prediction: kavanugh gets confirmed.
    GOP wins big in election 2018.
    Trump fires sessions, mueller, rosenstein...
    Trump pardons all mueller targets.
    Trump wins relection 2020.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Rosenstain will probably be even less happy about how he's terminated.
    Not a matter of IF, just WHEN.

  • anhthinhspkt||

    So all of a sudden a trash NYT story is reliable because you want Rosenstein to look bad?

  • tlapp||

    Fire Sessions first then Rosenstein and then anyone else that still wants to withhold documents that have been subpoenaed by congress. Once you get rid of the rats you can start cleaning up the FBI and DOJ.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online