Unable to understand the Rosenstein situation, I crawl into bed with a cup of tea, a plate of cookies, and my copy of “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”

I want to write about Donald Trump being laughed at by the world’s leaders at the United Nations General Assembly today, and the growing suspicion that, when he returns to DC from his comedy tour, he may very well fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, but I just can’t seem to summon the energy. So, instead, I’m just going to lay in bed and attempt a mental reset by watching The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

For those of you who have never seen the film, which is absolutely brilliant, here’s the trailer.

Before I completely close up my cocoon, though, I’ll just say that I’ve spent the last 48 hours thinking about this Rosenstein stuff, and I still can’t make sense of it. If I had to guess, I’d say that Trump doesn’t have any real intention of firing him before the midterms, as he must know that it would not only galvanize the resistance, but force a few Republican Senators, like Jeff Flake and Lisa Murkowski, off the fence, and over to our side. I suspect, however, he also knows that the drama over whether or not he’ll trigger a constitutional crisis by firing the man in charge of overseeing the Russia investigation may keep Brett Kavanaugh off the front page long enough to get him through the confirmation process. And I think this must be why someone in the administration leaked the story a few days ago about Rosenstein allegedly suggesting, just after FBI Director James Comey was fired, that he “wear a wire” against the President, giving Trump cause to come out and publicly flirt with the idea of firing his Deputy Attorney General. I think a decision was made to “play the Rosenstein card,” and members of the press were only too happy to do the heavy lifting, pushing out stories all day long yesterday about how Rosenstein had been summoned to the White House to be canned. As it turns out, this wasn’t the case, but it totally dominated the news cycle, and pretty much killed the news about Kavanaugh’s second accuser, at least for a while.

But, really, it doesn’t matter when Trump attempts to pull the plug on the investigation. What matters is that, whether it’s this Thursday, or the day after the election, during the lame duck session of Congress, he will do it. As with Nixon, there will come a time when he attempts to kill the investigation against him. And we need to start taking precautions, so that we’re ready when that happens. Regardless of whether Trump does it on upon his return to D.C. this week, or waits until after Election Day, we need to get ready by passing legislation to protect the Mueller investigation. And, with that in mind, here’s something that I wrote a while back about the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, and what we can all do to make it a reality.

…Right now, today, we can all demand that our representatives in D.C. support legislation to protect the Mueller investigation. The legislation already exists. It just needs to be brought to a vote. And we can help do that.

First, here’s the history.

On April 26 of this year, Senate Bill 2644 (S.2644), the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, with a 14–7 vote. The bill, which, if signed into law, would “give any special counsel 10 days after being fired to challenge the termination in front of a three-judge panel in federal court,” passed through committee with the support of every Democrat, as well as four Republicans; Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, and Senators Thom Tillis, Jeff Flake, and Lindsey Graham, who authored the bill. Sadly, though, as it passed through committee over the objection of Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, it was doomed to failure. McConnell, saying, “we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate,” refused to bring it to a vote. [“I don’t think (Donald Trump) should fire Mueller, and I don’t think he is going to,” McConnell told Fox News at the time. “So this is a piece of legislation that’s not necessary, in my judgment.”] And the legislation, since then, has languished in limbo.

Yes, I realize that, even if it were to pass the Senate, it would likely be an uphill battle to get it through the House. [The House version of the bill, sponsored by Jerrold Nadler, is H.R. 5476.] And, even if it were to pass both the House and the Senate, it would still have to be signed into law by the President, which would be incredibly unlikely, given that he’s almost surely under the control of Vladimir Putin. With that said, though, I still think it’s a fight worth having, if only to know definitively, once and for all, which members of Congress, when push comes to shove, are willing to stand up for the rule of law.

So, if you’re looking for something to do, other than just vent about the most recent outrage, here are a few things that you can do right this very minute.

1. You can look up the phone numbers of your Senators, give them a call, and request that they come out publicly in favor of S.2644, and demand that Senate Majority Leader McConnell bring it to a vote immediately.

2. You can look up the phone number of your member of the House of Representatives, call their local office, and demand that they come out in favor of H.R. 5476.

As I noted earlier, up until now, Republican leadership has been stalling, saying that such legislation isn’t necessary, but, maybe, with the tide beginning to turn against Trump after his side-by-side appearance next to Vladimir Putin, during which he took the side of the Russians over his own intelligence community, things may have shifted enough to make it possible. And, let’s not forget, as McConnell will need every Republican vote to get Brett Kavanaugh through to the Supreme Court, there might be an opportunity for Republican Senators to force him to first bring the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to a vote. At least, I figure, it’s worth a shot…

Of course, I wrote that well before The Ghost of Keg Parties Past came back to take a huge bite out of Brett Kavanaugh’s ass, and change the trajectory of his confirmation, but you get the point.

update: Oh, one more thing… Speaking of Trump being laughed at by the members of the United Nations General Assembly yesterday when he said that he was the most successful U.S. president ever, he set the record straight today during his unhinged press conference, explaining that, “They weren’t laughing at me. They were laughing with me.” Here’s the video.

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10 Comments

  1. ElsieGal
    Posted September 25, 2018 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Cheer up, Buttercup!! Watch Auntie Mame (1958 version only!!) and I promise things will look better. I revisit this movie often, and always find great lessons about Karma, creativity, and scathing burns (don’t marry “…an Aryan from Darien with braces on her brains”) that are presented in genteel ways. What a nice throwback/reminder…..just the balm we need in these times.

  2. Kim
    Posted September 25, 2018 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I watched Cosby coverage. The site of him in handcuffs warms my heart.

    I didn’t like this part, though. Bill Cosby’s publicist, Andrew Wyatt, claimed outside the courtroom that both Cosby and Brett Kavanaugh are victims of “a sex war” that is “going on in Washington today.” Maybe Trump will pardon him.

  3. Jean Henry
    Posted September 26, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Fox News clips of Trump’s UM speech cut out the laughter. Propaganda.

  4. wobblie
    Posted September 26, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Marut/Traven is one of my favorite authors. Always worth while either reading his works or watching films based on them.

  5. John Brown
    Posted September 26, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Don’t credit them with some deliberate strategy behind Rosenstein. Might be as simple as internal backbiting and some one grabbing the chance to get rid of the “jew boy”. It’s chaos, sprinkled with evil, at every turn.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted September 26, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Someone in the administration even released a draft statement on Rosenstein’s having quit.

    Draft statement from Sessions, sent over to the WH this morning, says: “Rod Rosenstein has served the with dedication and skill for 28 years. His contributions are many and significant. We all appreciate his service and wish him well.”

    https://twitter.com/jonathanvswan/status/1044339851015991298

  7. Karen T.
    Posted September 26, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Adam Schiff agrees with you.

    “Increasingly clear Trump is considering a Saturday Night Massacre after midterms, in which he would fire the Attorney General and Deputy AG. Whether Congress will defend the rule of law depends on who is in charge. No more rubber stamp — let’s restore our checks and balances.”

    https://twitter.com/AdamSchiff/status/1043999374424985600

  8. yup, that's definitely what happened
    Posted September 26, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Nikki Haley says the laughter Trump got at the U.N. was because world leaders “loved his honesty.”

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nikki-haley-donald-trump-united-nations_us_5bab7019e4b0f143d10ee8f4

  9. M
    Posted September 26, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Speaking of the laughter, here’s a pertinent quote from Trump back in 2014.

    “We need a President who isn’t a laughing stock to the entire World. We need a truly great leader, a genius at strategy and winning. Respect!”

    And, yes, Fox News did edit out the laughter.

    We are a laughingstock, and deservedly so.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted September 26, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Trump asked if he’ll fire Rosenstein: “I’m talking to him. We’ve had a good talk. He said he never said it…he said he has a lot of respect for me. He was very nice, and we’ll see.” He says he’ll certainly “prefer not doing that (firing him).” He adds, “No collusion.”

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