A smirking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein took Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) to school on Wednesday afternoon after the combative Texan went on a rant about FISA warrants, badgering Rosenstein without letting him answer.
After an equally humiliating episode earlier in the day when Rosenstein set Ohio Republican Jim Jordan straight, Rosenstein once again had to set the record straight.
Pressing Rosenstein about FISA warrants that had been issued by a federal judge as part of an investigation into associates of President Donald Trump, Gohmert kept insisting that the number two lawyer in the Justice Department didn't know what he was doing.
"Did you sign the fourth FISA application?" Gohmert asked to which Rosenstein clarified, "I approved the filing. that's my job, sir," with a smile.
"That's your job, okay, you approved it," Gohmert continued. "When you approve a FISA application, in your mind, does that mean you should read it and understand what's part of it?"
"You should certainly understand what's part of it, sir, as I said -- ," Rosenstein attempted before Gohmert cut him off, saying, "You're parsing words. It doesn't mean you need to read it."
As Rosenstein attempted to explain the process, looking alternately exasperated and amused, the Texas Republican continued to lob accusations until he was cut off by the hearing chairman because his time had run out -- allowing Rosenstein to respond.
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I apologize, I thought you were asking me questions, sir," Rosenstein said to Gohmert with a smirk. "I completely understand your concern and this FISA process is being reviewed by the inspector general. If he finds some problem with that, we'll respect that."
Rosenstein then took Gohmert to school.
"We don't talk about FISAs," he explained. "It's illegal for us to talk about FISAs. In this particular case the intelligence community information was classified, so I'm uncomfortable talking about that. You have to understand in context, sir, that the department had made the decision to disclose the FISA to the House and Senate before I got there."
"What I signed was a renewal application, approved three different times by a federal judge," he continued. "It was signed under oath by an FBI agent who attested it was true and correct. If he was wrong, we'll hold him accountable. Let's allow the process to conclude before we jump to conclusions about that."
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