Commenting on President Trump's decision to declassify some of the Justice Department's documents on its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, attorney and former federal prosecutor Joe diGenova said that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has tried to stop Trump from doing so, claiming that Special Counsel Robert Mueller would view Trump's action as "obstruction."
However, added diGenova, Rosenstein is being deceitful and is only trying "to protect himself" against revelations that he has a direct conflict with the DOJ's investiagtion and that the declassified documents will show he was "deeply involved in the effort to try to remove the president [from office] under the 25th Amendment."
The New York Times reported on Sept. 21 that Rosenstein, as deputy attorney general in 2017, suggested in meetings with FBI and DOJ officials that people wear wires to secretly record President Trump in the White House and that they consult with Cabinet officials about removing Trump under the 25th Amendment.
On the Nov. 8 edition of WMAL's Mornings on the Mall, diGenova was asked about the DOJ's opposition to declasssifying Russia-collusion documents and why Trump has decided to release the records.
DiGenova, a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said, “Because Rosenstein tried to extort from the president a promise not to declassify, under the threat that if he did declassify, he said [Robert] Mueller would view this as an obstruction and add it to his [final] report."
"So, the president backed off," said diGenova.
However, "what Rosenstein was trying to do was not protect the president but rather to protect himself, Rosenstein, against the revelations that would show that not only did he have a conflict [with the Russia investigation] but he was deeply involved in the effort to try to remove the president under the 25th Amendment." said diGenova.
"The president has decided to do this [declassification] because Rosenstein is gone," he said.
What diGenova means is that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned and his former chief of staff, Matt Whitaker, is now the acting attorney general. As attorney general, Whitaker is now in charge of the Russia investigation and in charge of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Russia-Trump collusion. Rosenstein is no longer the gatekeeper.
Veiled threats from Rosenstein no longer carry any weight, said diGenova, and they never really existed because the collusion case is a farce. "Rosenstein was doing what he always does," said the former federal prosecutor. "He was lying, deceiving and manipulating the situation to his advantage.”
One of the other reasons the DOJ wants to prevent declassification of the records, said diGenova, is because they apparently show that British intelligence "conducted illegal, electronic surveillance on Americans overseas at the request of the FBI and the CIA."
"That is what they fear being disclosed." he said.
As for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, he may indict a few people for lying to his office "but after that he’s done. There’s nothing more on Russia. There never was. ... It's ridiculous that he’s been here this long.”