Is This Ford an Edsel?

There were two compelling stories this week: The Kavanaugh confirmation to the Supreme Court and the dueling tales respecting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The latter was brilliantly handled by this site’s owner, Thomas Lifson, and I have little to add to his recitation of the events though I urge you to read it for a  concise analysis of what was reported this week.

The account in the New York Times. which first reported that Rosenstein had offered to wear a wire to record his conversations with the President and suggested the 25thAmendment might be pursued, strikes me at first glance as Andrew McCabe’s last-ditch attempt to fling poo on others when he seemed to be under threat of criminal prosecution. (It was troubling to me that, in violation of any good journalism practice, they ran it without contacting Rosenstein for his response.) In part I was reluctant to fully credit it because whatever you or I think of him, he always seemed too prudent to have spoken so intemperately to a group of what is now reported to have been seven or eight other people. A DoJ spokeswoman confirmed that he did make some remarks along that line, but in sarcastic response to aggressive anti-Trump comments by other participants in the discussion.

My online friend “Daddy” is not buying that, and offers up his own barbed reasons why:

Maybe we ought to do "Rod Rosenstein's best jokes."

1)  "It'd be a real shame if someone had to subpoena you House Intel staffers to testify under Oath. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, just kidding."

2)  "Hey, maybe I could wear a wire when I talk with Trump and he'll say something so nutty we can get him institutionalized in the nut House. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, just kidding."

3)  "So just for kicks I wrote this Memo telling Trump why Comey should be fired and that dummy actually believed I was serious. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,

4) "So even though the Law actually spells out that I had to write out the specifics of what my good buddy Bobby Mueller was supposed to be investigating, that idiot Judge Ellis actually thought I would have done that, so I told him my instructions to Bobby were too super secret for him to see. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha."

5) "Oh and you'll love this one. So when Jim Jordon asked me under oath why I signed the FISA warrant without verifying what was in it I actually told him that's not how the program works. I told him I don't actually have to read it to know what's in it. Nancy Pelosi couldn't a said it any stupider, but the Media bought it. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha."

6) Uranium One? What's Uranium On? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha."

In this regard, he makes some telling points that Rosenstein’s reputation for fair, competent work may well have been overblown. 

Whether or not the statements were made sarcastically, there are lots of reasons why Rosenstein should be removed, or at a minimum, oversight of Mueller taken away from his portfolio and handed to someone else.

Gregg Jarrett, who’s been covering carefully the work of the special counsel, has even stronger reasons than remarks in the NYT’s article why Rosenstein should be replaced:

Rosenstein has been in charge of the Mueller probe. Yet, it is clear that he harbors an extreme bias against Trump. How can anyone now view the investigation as fair, objective and neutral? It is not.  It never has been. 

The special counsel probe has been compromised and contaminated by Rosenstein’s actions, Mueller’s refusal to disqualify himself, the misconduct of former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and the obvious bias of lead prosecutor Andrew Weissmann. From the moment Trump was sworn in as president, saboteurs at the FBI and Justice Department have worked furiously to undo the election results and frame Trump for “colluding” with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. 

They conjured a false case based on a fabricated “dossier” paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and composed by a British spy who was fired for lying. 

They misappropriated that document to launch the Trump-Russia investigation without probable cause. They then exploited the same “dossier” to wiretap a Trump campaign associate, Carter Page. In the process, they concealed vital evidence and deceived FISA judges, perpetrating a fraud on the court.

Those who abused their positions of power to subvert the rule of law and undermine the democratic process should be held accountable. 

It should begin with the firing of Rod Rosenstein. It should end with a presentment to a grand jury for potential criminal indictments. 

And Professor Alan Dershowitz says that the President should force Rosenstein to recuse himself -- in a court proceeding, if necessary -- and offers up compelling reasons why:  

...what [Trump] could do very plausibly is have his lawyers go to court and make a motion to recuse Rosenstein from any involvement in any case involving the president."

"Because he has a conflict of interest," said Dershowitz, who is also an opinion contributor for The Hill. "He has two conflicts of interest: First, he wrote the memo... authorizing the firing of Comey. You can't both investigate obstruction of justice and be part of the obstruction of justice."

"But second, he has a conflict now because the Times reports that his goal is to be 'vindicated,' [ed: for Comey’s firing] and the way he can be 'vindicated' is by putting all the blame on President Trump," Dershowitz added in the interview.

These issues will not be going away soon. The House Judiciary Committee announced this week that they plan to subpoena the McCabe memos which formed the substance of the NYT’s story. President Trump, moreover, has indicated that he’ll hold back on declassifying the McCabe memos hidden away inside the FBI and Special Counsel’s files -- hidden from Congressional investigators and the DoJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz -- until Horowitz has a chance to review them in his ongoing probe of FISA abuse by the DoJ and FBI. If Horowitz fails to do so, the President will declassify them himself.

In sum, the rocks are being turned over, and I wouldn’t want to be the worms that have been hidden underneath them.

Christine Ford

All week the press has been playing a Latin-style novella, which in English might have been titled “Edge of the Rim of the Cusp”.  The main character is an obviously highly neurotic woman who claims that more than three decades before she was assaulted by the nominee in a home she can’t remember, on a date she can’t recall either, and that she was so traumatized by the boozy encounter she didn’t recall it until engaged in marital counseling in 2012.  Dianne Feinstein, who waited until the conclusion of the hearings to spring this tale, still refuses to hand over the letter by Ford so we don’t know all that’s in there, though Ford’s statements now about the incident do not match the portion of the marital counselor’s record of that session made public. 

It has been reported that while her lawyers are still insisting on ever-changing absurd procedures which violate the committee rules and any notion of fair play, and postponing the hearing date for specious reasons (while she reportedly plans to appear Sunday night on “60 Minutes”). I wonder who will do the softball interview, with so many-- both Les Moonves and Jeff Fager, not to mention former 60 Minutes mainstay Charlie Rose -- out at CBS for documented sexual misconduct?

The Friday deadline for her to decide passed and the Chairman of the Judiciary committee has given her lawyers more time to confirm that she will testify. Late Saturday afternoon they responded with a non-answer saying she wants to but the terms and conditions still need to be negotiated and she wants to do so on Wednesday though the hearing is set for Monday. The Senate rules, arcane as they may be, give a deadline of Thursday for the vote out of committee or the nomination dies and there will be insufficient time to consider another before the term ends. I think she’s a reluctant witness whose lawyers have continued to encourage her testimony by suggesting their ridiculous demands can be met and she can just go up there, tell her story without effective cross examination after she hears Kavanaugh’s defense and can tailor her testimony accordingly. One of their demands is that only senators question her. Doubtless this is not only because they know the chair wants Beth Wilkinson, an outstanding defamation lawyer, to do the questioning. What they want, in this age of group rights -- and demons -- is to be able to argue that this poor traumatized woman was further harmed by a group of old white male bullies.

Like me, New Neo, who has a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling and experience in such things, is having none of that.

Note the words that echo the idea of big strong men hurting the little woman: the deadline itself is “aggressive” and the purpose is to “bully” her. Christina Ford (“Dr.” to you) is no longer 15 years old, but the letter implies that that’s her approximate mental and emotional age. 

There’s no acknowledgment, of course, of the fact that Ford set this entire thing in motion, that she has had nearly two months (or more) to prepare and 36 years before that, that she is the one who blindsided Kavanaugh and the Republicans in the Senate rather than the other way around, that they have already given her many extensions, and that Kavanaugh’s family has also experienced incredible stress and death threats as a result of her accusations.

Most of us have had the experience of arguing with a person like this. Give an inch? They take a mile. Make concessions? They want more. They are the poor suffering victims. They don’t like your tone of voice. They don’t like the expression on your face. If you try to be calm, you’re cold. If you try to be sympathetic, you’re condescending. Nothing you do is okay, and everything they do is okay.

If any of this scenario sounds familiar it may be because Ricky Seidman, who advised Anita Hill to testify against Clarence Thomas in 1991, is advising Ford, and in July -- about the same time Ford sent her letter to Feinstein -- of this year said “Over the coming days and weeks there will be a strategy that will emerge, and I think it’s possible that that strategy might ultimately defeat the nominee.” Or that one of McCabe’s lawyers, Michael Bromwich, has joined her team.

This is the crowd that really abuses women -- arguing that they should always be believed (except when it’s Ted Kennedy, Chris Dodd, Bill Clinton, Keith Ellison, or any one of their many party cohorts accused of sexual misconduct.) I can’t imagine government by harpies without due process for men will draw many men to their party, nor any wives, girlfriends, or mothers of sons who pay attention to this travesty of justice.

Update from Clarice Feldman:

Now every single person who Ford says were witnesses denies it without reservation. The fourth is Leland Keyser, a lifetime friend of Ford's who said she never ever was at a party where Kavanaugh was present. She is a PGA golfer and was Bob Beckel's first wife.  As Instapundit says: forget these continuing negotiations with her lawyer--just take the vote.

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