Rosenstein Refuses to Recuse Himself in Response to Sen Graham Request – Continues to Break Law While Not Complying with DOJ Standards of Conduct
Guest post by Joe Hoft
The current Deputy AG Rosenstein has broken the law since he took over the Russia investigation and assigned crooked Mueller the Special Counsel in the bogus and fraudulent investigation into Trump-Russia collusion. Yesterday he again refused to recuse himself as he absolutely must do to comply with the law and the DOJ’s Standards of Conduct.
Yesterday the Washington Examiner reported –
A top Justice Department official has told Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will continue in his oversight role of special counsel Robert Mueller, and will only recuse himself if “deemed appropriate by department officials.”
The South Carolina Republican had written to Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller’s probe, asking if he should recuse himself due to a conflict of interest.
In a Wednesday letter obtained by the Washington Examiner, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd writes that “investigations of ongoing efforts by foreign agents to influence our government are complex and extraordinarily important.”
“Nonetheless, [Rosenstein] would recuse from all or part of any matter if recusal were deemed appropriate by Department officials who are informed about the matter,” wrote Boyd. “Otherwise, he has a responsibility to fulfill his oath to well and faithfully execute the duties of his office.”
The problem with the corrupt DOJ’s response is that as we noted previously, the crooked, dishonest and criminal Rosenstein has numerous conflicts of interest related to the Russia hoax. Rosenstein, Mueller and Mueller’s entire team as we pointed out numerous times are severely and obviously conflicted.
The Mueller investigation is arguably the most one-sided and conflicted group of lawyers and investigators in history. They all are conflicted.
But Rosenstein may be more conflicted than the entire gang. Rosenstein wrote the letter for President Trump recommending Comey’s firing. This alone should disqualify him and the entire investigation from taking place. Rosenstein also signed off on a FISA warrant to spy on President Trump after the election. Then this year Rosenstein signed off on a raid of President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. How can he possibly not recuse himself?
Rosenstein and Mueller were both heavily involved in the Uranium One case where the Obama Administration and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton allowed the sale of 20% of the US’s uranium to Russia. This was the Russian collusion scandal. This is what the DOJ should be investigating (and Rosenstein should recuse himself from that as well).
But one other conflict of interest that Rosenstein has is related to his wife. Rosenstein’s wife, Lisa Barsoomian, represented Bill Clinton in a case in the 1990’s and reportedly represented the Clintons and Obama numerous times –
Lisa Barsoomian works for R. Craig Lawrence, an attorney who has represented Robert Mueller three times, James Comey five times, Barack Obama forty-five times, Kathleen Sebellius fifty-six times, Bill Clinton forty times, and Hillary Clinton seventeen times between 1991 and 2017.
This alone should be enough for Rosenstein to be unqualified for any role related to the Clintons, Obama or their cronies. Even if Barsoomian didn’t have anything to do with the cases noted above, the fact that the appearance of impropriety exists is enough for Rosenstein’s recusal.
The law states the following regarding DOJ employees with conflicts of interest –
5 C.F. R. § 2635.501 – 503 (Subpart E – Impartiality in Performing Official Duties)
In addition to the impartiality regulation, 28 C.F.R. § 45.2 prohibits a DOJ employee, without written authorization, from participating in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution, or any person or organization which he knows has a specific and substantial interest that would be directly affected by the outcome of the investigation or prosecution.
Based on this the only way Rosenstein could legally oversee the Mueller investigation is if someone in a position to do so would have provided written authorization to participate in the investigation and ignore his conflicts of interest. Anyone who would do this would be subject to legal consequences no doubt due to Rosenstein’s numerous conflicts. The only superiors over Rosenstein are President Trump and AG Jeff Sessions. If Rosenstein doesn’t have either of their authorizations, then he is committing a crime by not recusing himself from the Russia farce.
Finally, the DOJ provides a conflict statement to all employees annually that states the following in regards to conflicts of interest –
Employees may not engage in outside activities that create or appear to create a conflict of interest with their official duties. Such a conflict exists when the outside activity would: (1) require the recusal of the employee from significant aspects of his or her official duties (5 C.F.R. § 2635.802(b)); (2) create an appearance that the employee’s official duties were performed in a biased or less than impartial manner (5 C.F.R. § 2635.502); or (3) create an appearance of official sanction or endorsement (5 C.F.R. § 2635.702(b)).
Again, the point is that whether Rosenstein has actual conflicts of interest or not (which he clearly does), the fact that there is even the appearance of conflicts disqualifies Rosenstein from his oversight over the DOJ. Rosenstein is breaking the law and does not comply with the DOJ’s Standards of Conduct.
(Also note that the DOJ code of conduct applies to Mueller and his team of corrupt cronies too since they arguably work for the DOJ.)