Rosenstein is One Powerful Man in Washington
U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has come out and said that he sees no reason to fire Robert Mueller from his position as head of the special investigation unit assigned to determine if there was Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Republicans are pushing against the investigation because they believe that there is a bias against the party, as only their members are being investigated for potential ties to Russia (as they are the ones who gained from Donald Trump’s victory).
Is Rosenstein taking a strong stance in order to benefit his own political views? Is Rosenstein a Democratic supporter? Or is Rosenstein a Republican supporter? Is he using his position to give Democrats an edge? Read on to find out.
Is Rod Rosenstein a Democrat? Or a Republican?
Rosenstein pushing to defend Mueller would make perfect sense if he identifies as a Democrat. It could also help the Democrats obtain some control over the political landscape, no matter how slight.
Unfortunately for the Dems, Rosenstein is a registered Republican. He was initially nominated for the position of Deputy Attorney General by President Trump himself–a position Trump never would have considered him for, were he a Democrat. He has also previously worked under Republican President George W. Bush as Attorney for the District of Maryland.
However, Rosenstein has worked under the Democratic Party as a district DA as well, specifically previous President Barack Obama. That said, the position was first given to him by Bush.
Based on Rosenstein’s commitment to working for both parties, he appears to show no personal biases in his decision making and a focus on getting the job done, regardless of who’s in charge. Rosenstein himself has even said that he hasn’t, “been a member nor held office in or rendered services to any political party or election committee.” (Source: “Rod Rosenstein’s Political Affiliation: Is He a Republican or a Democrat?,” Heavy, May 9, 2017.)
Rosenstein Has No Strong Political Biases, So Why the Defense?
As has been widely reported, the purpose of Robert Mueller’s investigation is to determine if members of Trump’s team had any links to Russia and if they received the country’s assistance during the election. None of those performing the investigation itself are members the Democratic Party; even Robert Mueller, who is the head of the special task force, is a Republican, so no bias there.(Source: “FBI Nominee Lauded for Tenacity,” The Washington Post, July 30, 2001.)
When details emerged about the case and the special counsel assigned to it, it reflected poorly on the party and the president. What’s more, whatever the counsel finds could hurt the party. For instance, attempts to pass a bill may be met with resistance in response to the findings, or hurt America’s influence in global affairs should anything come out that makes other world leaders hesitant to align with Trump.
And then, of course, there’s the reaction of the American people. Consider the recent results of the Senate race in Alabama. Roy Moore, the Republican representative, lost to Democrat Doug Jones, with some of the blame presumably coming from allegations that came to light during his campaign, not to mention sharing many sentiments with the currently unpopular Trump. If Moore thinks he had it bad, imagine what Americans would do to Trump if the current investigation bears fruit.
Could the President Use His Power to Change Rod Rosenstein’s Mind on the Special Task Force?
The odds are stacked against President Trump. Rosenstein is the one who appointed Robert Mueller, and according to his own sworn congressional testimony in June, he is the only person in the entire U.S. government with the authority to relieve Mueller of his duties. And given his defense of Mueller this weak, it’s clear that Rosenstein is satisfied with how things are now.
Yes, Trump could go after Rosenstein and make him step down or even fire him–and if he wanted to get rid of Mueller, he’d have to. However, given that he’d potentially have to fire other members of the Department of Justice until he found one willing to toe the line. This could prove to be too much of an uphill battle to be worth the time. (Source: “Why it’s much harder for Trump to fire Robert Mueller than it was to fire James Comey,” Vox, December 1, 2017.)
If Trump wipes the slate clean for either man, it may indicate that he’s hiding something. Rod Rosenstein proves that even thought Trump could be considered leader of the free world, he does not have all the power in the world of U.S. politics.