As questions grow about the impartiality of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a former chief spokesperson for the Department of Justice explained that Rosenstein’s mistakes stem from weakness.
Matt Miller was interviewed by MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace on Friday’s “Deadline: White House.”
“But this reporting in The Washington Post that describes a conversation that he had with the president when, as I said before, his back was against the wall, thought he would be fired. If you take that again and hold it up with the way it ended, with Rosenstein and [Bill] Barr being the two men who decided — after Robert Mueller wouldn’t or couldn’t — that the obstruction case didn’t amount to criminal conduct, it certainly makes this reporting from Matt [Zapotosky] and his colleagues all the more intriguing.”
“It is a deeply disturbing report because what it shows is unethical conduct by the Deputy Attorney General,” Miller replied.
“Even without the way the investigation ended — just having this conversation with the president himself and giving the president this assurance is unethical for the deputy to do,” he explained. “He shouldn’t be talking to the president about an investigation into the president under any circumstances and he shouldn’t be giving him assurances about how that investigation will end and shouldn’t be doing it at a time when he’s begging and pleading for his own job.”
“I think most people have gotten it wrong. The way to understand Rod is he’s weak — has always been weak,” Miller argued.
“He was weak in the beginning when he signed off on the [James] Comey firing and gave the president the excuse — despite having read the Mueller report that he knew why the president was firing Comey, it was over the Russia investigation,” he continued. “He was weak when the president pressured him to open a counter investigation into the investigation, how it started.”
“And he was weak when he signed onto Bill Barr’s dishonest press conference and letter about the end of the investigation,” Miller noted. “He didn’t have to do any of those things.
“When you take the fact he gave this assurance to the president and he did land the plane in a way acceptable to the president despite the underlying facts being almost in some cases being the opposite of how he and the Attorney General portrayed them, I think it raises real questions about the way the Deputy Attorney General has performed his job,” he concluded.