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Rod Rosenstein’s legal defense in lawsuits from Strzok and Page won’t hold up under oath: legal experts

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Rod Rosenstein

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein claimed responsibility for the release of text messages between then-FBI attorney Lisa Page and then-FBI official Peter Strzok.

Emails released in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) revealed the highly unusual release by Sarah Isgur Flores, who at the time was the spokesperson for Trump’s Department of Justice (she is now overseeing CNN’s 2020 election coverage).

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Flores instructed reporters to not cite the release of the documents to the Depart of Justice.

Both Strzok and Page have filed separate lawsuits against DOJ for the release of the text messages. In a legal brief filed late Friday, Rosenstein filed an affidavit claiming responsibility for the release.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed the text messages are proof of a deep state conspiracy against his 2016 campaign — even though he won.

At a campaign rally, Trump made up a fictionalized transcript of the messages, which he acted out on stage while simulating a sex act.

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Legal experts doubted Rosenstein’s rationalization for the release.

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, who is a CNN legal analyst, didn’t think Rosenstein’s defense would hold up.

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“Rosenstein claims that he made the decision to release the Strzok-Page texts in part because it would be helpful to Strzok and Page for him to do so. This rationale doesn’t seem like it will hold up when he’s questioned under oath,” Mariotti said.

He wasn’t the only person focused on Rosenstein’s anticipated testimony under oath.

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“All I can say is this: I very much look forward to Rod’s deposition,” Lisa Page herself wrote.

Walter Shaub, the former head of the office of government ethics, said the admission was proof “Rosenstein was complicit in the Trump administration’s abuses of power.”

“It’s a disturbing illustration of the ways Rosenstein and, later, Barr have politicized the Justice Department—an agency whose very name promises impartiality. The dangers of politicizing the agency administering the criminal apparatus of the state cannot be overstated,” he warned.

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“Rosenstein suffered from the same flaw of vanity that plagued Comey, only Rosenstein was a weak man controlled by the fear he displayed when he publicly groveled not to be fired by tweet,” Shaub added.

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HBO’s Maher scorches Trump for calling coronavirus a ‘hoax’: ‘Not something he can lie his way out of’

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During the "Overtime" segment of HBO's "Real Time," host Bill Maher launched into a broadside against Donald Trump for telling South Carolina rallygoers that the coronavirus outbreak is a "hoax" being pushed by the media Democrats.

In a furious back and forth with conservative guest Buck Sexton, Maher said this was one instance where the president "could not lie his way out of it."

According to Sexton, the crisis is serious but then he tried to deflect from the issue by accusing Democrats of "trying to score political points," when they point out the Trump administration's bumbling response.

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Trump directing his coronavirus task force to launch attacks on Democrats to avoid blame: report

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According to a report from the Daily Beast, Donald Trump is directing members of his coronavirus task force to make sure they hammer at the Democrats when discussing progress the administration is making to combat the spread on the growing pandemic.

On Friday night, at a rally in South Carolina, Trump set the tone by pointedly blaming the Democrats and telling rallygoers, "The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. They're politicizing it. They don't have any clue," while also tying the growing health crisis to building his wall, by stating, "Border security is also health security.”

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2020 Election

Jared Kushner vows there will be ‘no drama’ in Trump’s second term: ‘It’s high-competence’

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Jared Kushner vowed on Friday that a second term from his father-in-law, President Donald Trump,  would be both efficient and drama-free.

The senior White House adviser claimed that Trump's re-election campaign was running smoothly, much as the president's second term supposedly would, while speaking with organizer Matt Schlapp at the Conservative Political Actions Conference (CPAC).

"The way that you see the campaign being run, there's no leaks. There's no drama. I would say it's high-competence, low-drama," Kushner said. "Everything is very efficiently run, and I think that's exemplary of how President Trump would run his second term in office."

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