|Deputy Attorney General|
From: Assumed office April 26, 2017
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
|United States Attorney for the District of Maryland|
From: July 12, 2005 – April 26, 2017
|Predecessor||Thomas M. DiBiagio|
|Successor||Robert K. Hur|
Rod Jay Rosenstein is the incumbent United States deputy attorney general. He previously served as US attorney for the District of Maryland under presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.
Rosenstein was referred for criminal investigation by Congress in April 2018 for his role in signing the Carter Page FISA warrant application containing unverified and/or false information from the Clinton-Steele dossier (possible violations of 18 USC 242, 18 USC 1505 and 1515b) with the recommendation Rosenstein should be recused from any role in overseeing the FISA abuse investigation conducted by John Huber, or a Special Counsel if needed.
Rosenstein has been a key figure in several controversies throughout his career. Most notably, the firing of FBI Director James Comey and appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to continue a counterintelligence investigation which Mueller then morphed into a criminal investigation. Rosenstein has a conflict of interest in a duel role as both witness and prosecutor in the firing of Comey, and the allegation of obstruction of justice against Donald Trump related to the firing.
As an investigator for Independent Counsel Ken Starr, Rosenstein interviewed Hillary Clinton in the Travelgate and Filegate scandals in the 1990s. Rosenstein later doctored his resume to obscure his involvement in the affair.
Rosenstein was appointed an assistant U.S. attorney in 1997 and was promoted to United States attorney for Maryland in 2005. In 2007, Rosenstein was nominated to a position as an appeals court judge. His nomination was blocked by U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat.
Rosenstein was selected by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and nominated by President Donald Trump after the firing of Sally Yates who had denied Inspector General oversight of the Department of Justice National Security Division and refused to implement executive orders from the Oval Office. President Trump nominated Rosenstein to be deputy attorney general. This nomination was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 94 to 6 on April 25, 2017.
In one of his first acts in his new job, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate whether or not coordination between the Trump campaign by the Russian government. The investigation discovered collusion between the 2016 Clinton campaign and the Kremlin, which was outside Rosenstein's mandate to Mueller, however civil rights violations and harassment of Trump administration and campaign personnel continued under Department of Justice activity.
Attorney General Sessions recused himself from campaign related issues, leaving Rosenstein with a great deal of authority in the Department of Justice. This includes supervision of the FBI and of Mueller's investigation. If Rosenstein is dismissed, Solicitor General Noel Francisco is next in line at the Justice Department.
- Main article: Trump-Russia collusion hoax
Rosenstein's appointment of Robert Mueller was to continue a FISA Title I counterintelligence investigation begun by FBI agent Peter Strzok in July 2016. Congressional investigators found the FBI had no legal basis to begin the original investigation. Upon Mueller's appointment, Mueller brought indictments without probable cause under FISA Title III criminal statutes against prominent Trump campaign and administration officials. Mueller was not tasked to investigate under FISA Title III.
In signing Mueller's mandate, a charge was made in the media based on illegal leaks from FBI Director James Comey and the U.S. Justice Department, that President Donald Trump was attempting to obstruct justice by firing Comey. Comey was fired on Rosenstein's recommendation making Rosenstein both a prosecutor and witness in the Mueller investigation.
No evidence can be found to provide a legal basis for the original FBI counterintelligence investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign. Former CIA Director John Brennan claimed to have received information under longstanding intelligence sharing agreements with the UK and allied intelligence agencies, and turned the information over to the FBI. However it was subsequently discovered the information was the paid product of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. Additionally, Brennan used an American citizen in the UK who functioned as an infiltrator, informant, and agent provocateur.
The information eventually was packaged into the Steele dossier and used to fraudulently procure a FISA Title I surveillance warrant against a member of the Trump campaign, granting the FBI full intrusion into all members of the Trump campaign, transition team, administration, and members of Congress that the original target - Carter Page - shared any electronic communications with.
Carter Page, ten days before joining the Trump campaign, was a bona fide and vetted, paid FBI informant who wore a wire to assist the FBI in gaining a conviction against a Russian agent. The FBI knew Carter Page was not a Russian agent at the time the Obama Justice Department represented Carter Page as a Russian agent to the FISA court to procure a Title I counterintelligence surveillance warrant against Carter Page and all his contacts in the Trump campaign, and later the transition team and administration.
Legality of investigation questioned
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from matters pertaining to Russian interference in the 2016 election, yet Mueller brought indictments alleging crimes committed by Paul Manafort in 2005 and 2007, and has refused to share any evidence with Manafort's attorneys during the discovery process of collusion with Russia during the 2016 election. In fact, Mueller's team has specifically denied any such evidence exists.
Under the Appointments clause of the Constitution (Article II, Section 2, Clause 2) principal officers can only be appointed by the Executive "with the advise and consent of the Senate." U.S. Attorneys are principal officers requiring Senate approval. The Special Counsel functions as a U.S. Attorney with extraterritorial jurisdiction, and had not been approved by the Senate.
Conflicts of interestRoger Stone noted:
"Lisa Barsoomian, wife of Rod Rosenstein. Lisa is a high-powered attorney in Washington, DC, who specializes in opposing Freedom of Information Act requests on behalf of the Deep State, err, I mean, the Intelligence Communities.
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 Sebelius fifty-six times, Bill Clinton forty times, and Hillary Clinton seventeen times between 1991 and 2017.
Barsoomian participated in some of this work personally and has herself represented the FBI at least five separate times. It would be great to research the specifics of the cases she worked in, many of the documents from the Court Docket relating to these cases have been removed from the D.C. District and Appeals Court, including her representation for Clinton in 1998’s case Hamburg. V. Clinton."
Uranium One deal
- Main article: Uranium One bribery scandal
The team of Mueller and Rosenstein essentially allowed Russian oligarchs to extort millions from American energy companies and consumers, and quietly swept it under the rug while the Clinton Foundation walked away with $150 million for brokering the Uranium One deal between Clinton donors and Russian oligarchs who were under DOJ/FBI investigation at the time.
Vadim Mikerin was a Director of the Pan American Department of Tenex (Techsnabexport) from about 2004 through about 2010, and was the President of Tenam (its American distribution arm) from about October 2010 through about October 2014. Tenex and Tenam are subsidiaries of the Russian nuclear giant, Rosatom. Mikerin's bosses are Russian oligarchs connected to Vladimir Putin. Tenam attempted to bring common accepted business practices in Russia to the United States - kickbacks for the award of contracts. Tenam serviced 19 contracts, directly and indirectly, with 12 American energy companies. The contracts were for the transport of Russian uranium from dismantled nuclear bombs to burn in American nuclear power plants under the "Megatons to Megawatts" program. Since the 1990s until sanctions the program is said to have generated about 10% of all electricity in the United States.
Between 2004 and October 2014, Mikerin conspired with others to transmit funds from Maryland and elsewhere in the United States to offshore shell company bank accounts for the purpose of promoting a corrupt payment scheme that violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Clinton Foundation pay-to-play
Between 2008 and 2010, Uranium One and Former Ur-Asia investors donated $8.65 million to the Clinton Foundation.
After Russia took control of the Uranium, the Podesta Group received $180,000 to lobby for Uranium One during the same period that the Clinton Foundation was receiving millions from U1 interests, and after Russia took majority ownership in the “20 percent” deal (source – you have to add up the years). The uranium company states on its web site it is a “wholly owned subsidiary” of RUSANO, the Russian State Corporation for Nuclear Energy, a Rosatom entity.
Tony Podesta’s lobbying firm, the Podesta Group, represented the Russian-owned company Uranium One during former President Barack Obama’s administration and did not register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, The Daily Caller News Foundation determined. Tony Podesta is the brother of John Podesta, 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign manager.
The Podesta Group lobbied on behalf of Uranium One for part of 2012 and in 2014 and 2015, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The Podesta Group was not listed as a lobbyist for Uranium One during its sale to ROSATOM in 2010. The Podesta Group did not file under FARA during any of the years when it lobbied both Congress and the executive branch.
Bill Clinton listed Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and a key Rosatom board member as one of 15 Russians he wanted to meet with. Rosatom is the parent company of Tenex, then under investigation by FBI Dir. Robert Mueller for money-laundering and extortion of American energy companies. Processing of Rosatom's request to purchase Uranium One was in the works by Hillary's State Dept. at the time. Carter Page is said to have met Dvorkovich about this time as well. Bill Clinton met with Vladimir Putin and Medvedev during the excursion to Moscow, where he received $500,000 from the bank financing the Rosatom-Uranium One purchase. Putin personally thanked Clinton for speaking.
Mueller approved sale
The investigation was an intelligence probe into Rosatom officials. The investigation obtained an eyewitness, William Campbell, known as Confidential Source-1 (CS-1) in court documents, recordings, and emails. The evidence indicates Rosatom oligarchs sent millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation to buy access during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's tenure on the Committee on Foreign Investment of the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS is the government body that provided the approval of the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom.
The investigation could prove, through its confidential informant, kickbacks paid in cash and foreign wire transfers.
Rosenstein and Weissmann whitewash charges
Mikerin's arrest was scheduled for early summer 2010, but later in August the decision was overturned by Rod Rosenstein and Adam Aik. The appeal, signed by Rosenstein and Aik, urged Judge William Connelly to cancel Mikerin's arrest order. In a statement to the press Rosenstein's office commented, "This is a sealed document, I'm not sure how it found its way into the proceedings," in an attempt to object to the defense discussing the motion publicly. Defense attorney Dan Hurson remarked "In my 40 years [of legal practice] I haven't seen anything like that." On October 17, 2017 The Hill reported that
the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.The New York Post reported on the Obama FBI and DOJ cover up of Russian crimes. Attn. Gen. Loretta Lynch blocked Campbell, the FBI informant, from testifying to Congress about his knowledge that the Russian's wanted access to Bill and Hillary Clinton to influence the decision on the purchase of Uranium One. Newsweek reported
Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.
They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton's charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.
Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions...Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.
Before the [Uranium One] deal was brokered in 2009, the FBI under Robert Mueller—who is now special counsel in the Russia investigation into potential collusion with the Trump campaign—had begun an investigation into corruption and extortion by senior managers of a company owned by the Russian government’s nuclear company, Rosatom. According to court filings revealed by The Hill Tuesday, in 2009 the FBI found enough evidence to suggest Vadim Mikerin, who headed the Rosatom subsidiary Tenex, was corrupt and high-level officials at Rosatom knew about his bribery scheme. In 2014, he pled guilty in a U.S. court case to orchestrating more than $2 million in bribe payments through shadowy accounts in Cyprus, Latvia, and Switzerland.
The Justice Department instructs prosecutors that when Congress has given a federal offense its own conspiracy provision with a heightened punishment (as it has for money laundering, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and other serious crimes), they may not charge a section 371 conspiracy. Section 371 is for less serious conspiracy cases. Using it for money laundering — which caps the sentence below Congress’s intent for that behavior — subverts federal law and signals to the court that the prosecutor does not regard the offense as major.
Yet, that is exactly what Rosenstein and Andrew Weissmann did in a plea agreement with Mikerin. (See in The Hill’s report, the third document embedded at the bottom, titled “Mikerin Plea Deal.”) No RICO, no extortion, no fraud — and the plea agreement does not mention any of the extortions in 2009 and 2010, before CFIUS approved Rosatom’s acquisition of Uranium One. Mikerin just plead guilty to a nominal “money laundering” conspiracy charge, insulating him from a longer sentence. Thus, he got a term of only four years’ for a major national security crime.
- Rod Rosenstein Submitted False Documents To Senate Concerning His Interrogation of Hillary Clinton"
- https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/who-is-muellers-boss-if-rosenstein-goes/ar-AAvMUaO Who is Mueller's boss if Rosenstein goes?], CNN.
- A network of retired UK and other allied intelligence operatives working with Brennan set up and fed Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos information that they had connections to Russia and Hillary Clinton's deleted emails, and could get them for the Trump campaign. Papadopoulos then spoke openly about these meetings with Alexander Downer, which then was fed back to Brennan.
- Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice National Security Division (DOJ-NSD) John Carlin oversaw the vetting of Carter Page as a bona fide informant against a Russian intelligence agent and later allegations to the FISA court that Page himself was a Russian agent.
- Manafort lawyers filing to the court reads: “the Special Counsel has not produced any materials to the defense — no tapes, notes, transcripts or any other material evidencing surveillance or intercepts of communications between Mr. Manafort and Russian intelligence officials, Russian government officials (or any other foreign officials)...The Office of Special Counsel has advised that there are no materials responsive to Mr. Manafort’s requests.”
- "In a highly competitive environment, it is difficult to hide unreasonable payments. Competitors and colleagues will certainly inform law enforcement agencies. Our people forget that in the United States they are in other conditions - there they will not reckon with their status and the importance of contracts, "- says former Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Skuratov.
- CFIUS is an inter-agency committee authorized to review transactions that could result in control of a U.S. business by a foreign person (“covered transactions”), in order to determine the effect of such transactions on the national security of the United States. CFIUS operates pursuant to section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended by the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA) (section 721) and as implemented by Executive Order 11858, as amended, and regulations at 31 C.F.R. Part 800. https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/international/Pages/Committee-on-Foreign-Investment-in-US.aspx
- Joel Schectman, U.S. sentences Russian nuclear official to four years for bribe scheme, Reuters (Dec. 15, 2015). The “Megatons to Megawatts” program converted uranium from thousands of Russian nuclear warheads for civilian use in U.S.nuclear power plants.