Axios reported Monday that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein hurried to the White House to resign before Trump could fire him after reports Friday that Rosenstein had suggested recruiting cabinet members to make a case for removing the president via the 25th Amendment, which allows for presidents to be removed if the vice-president and a majority of the cabinet determine he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of office.”
“Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has verbally “offered to resign” in discussions with White House Chief of Staff [John] Kelly,” Axios reported under the headline, “Rosenstein to resign before he is fired.”
The only problem is there appears to be no actual evidence Trump intended to fire him.
Axios’ lead story links to what it said was a “statement” that read: “Rod Rosenstein has served the Department of Justice with dedication and skill for 28 years. His contributions are many and significant. We all appreciate his service and wish him well.”
The story accompanying it points out the Department of Justice statement was sent to the White House Friday afternoon, shortly after the story of Rosenstein attempting to organize a 25th Amendment takeover of the government – by, among other things, wearing a wire in White House meetings to demonstrate the chaos inside the White House – appeared on the New York Times’ website.
Axios pointed out it was significant the statement did not include the word “resignation” and that the Justice Department denied having anything to do with such a statement.
It further says anonymous sources connected to Rosenstein and Kelly said Rosenstein “was willing to resign and that the two men were discussing the terms of the departure.”
According to the New York Times, the White House not only did not intend to fire Rosenstein, but it also did not even want to accept his resignation. Jay Sekulow, the president’s lawyer, said on his radio show on Monday he did not know anything about Rosenstein being pushed out.
The deputy attorney general ended up having what the Times reported to be “an extended conversation” about the 25th Amendment article and vowed to talk Thursday to clear things up.
CNN reported that Rosenstein “may be out of a job in the next few days” and played a clip of Trump commenting.
“I think it’s a very sad story and people are obviously – we are looking into it but it’s a very sad state of affairs when something like that can happen … “ and that he doesn’t want to “comment on it until I have all the facts … and I don’t have all the facts.”
“Drama and uncertainty this afternoon regarding the future of the Russia investigation,” Laura Jarrett reported, echoing a Democrat talking point that any attack on Rosenstein was an attack on the investigation and truth itself.
In another segment, CNN reported it “can report that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expecting to be fired by President Trump.” The anchor then throws it to Jarrett, who says, “So far, all we know is Rod Rosenstein is expecting to be fired today on the heels of that explosive report …”
HuffPost went the humor route with two stories on late-night comics’ takes on the Rosenstein situation.
Seth Meyers took on Rosenstein’s claim that he was just joking about the 25th Amendment.
“So we’re at the brink of a constitutional crisis because no one could tell if Rod Rosenstein was joking or not,” Meyers said. “Can I just make a suggestion to all civil servants in our justice system? Don’t make jokes. Jokes are broken now.”
It also wrote about Trevor Noah, who tweeted: “Thank you, news media, for interrupting our day to let us know you don’t know what’s going on.”
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