The Post reports on Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s resignation letter submitted Monday, effective May 11:
Rosenstein’s resignation letter comes days after The Washington Post reported that he had assured Trump in a call last year that he was on his team and that the special counsel’s investigation would treat the president fairly. …
“I give the investigation credibility,” Rosenstein told Trump, according to an administration official with knowledge of what was said during the call. “I can land the plane.”
While it is difficult to interpret Rosenstein’s remarks, he was apparently trying to mollify Trump and save his own job, or at least his reputation.
“I can go. I’m ready to go. I can resign. But I don’t want to go out with a tweet,” the deputy attorney general said in a meeting with Trump’s chief of staff before the call, according to one person’s account. Trump routinely makes significant personnel announcements via Twitter.
No one in the saga of the Mueller report has gone through so many shifts in public perception or gone through such wild swings in his professional reputation. For a time he was the darling of Democrats, seeming to hold back the tide against interference with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe. Republicans such as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) raked him over the coals regarding failure to produce documents (ah, those were the days when Republicans cared about the House’s investigative powers!) and even tried to impeach Rosenstein.
However, informed legal observers had their suspicions about him from the start. How did he get roped into writing a memo that served as the phony excuse for firing then-FBI Director James B. Comey? Why didn’t he recuse himself once it became apparent he was witness to a key event in a possible obstruction-of-justice case?