On Jun 28, 2018, America watched in amazement Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, currently the top law enforcement officer of the land next to Trump, thanks to Jeff Sessions, the dead man walking, fudge and dodge, refusing to answer the simple question asked by Rep. Gohmert, “Did you read the FISA application you signed?”
Understandably so, because he is caught between a rock and a hard place. To say yes is to admit that he is the ultimate villain who has unleashed the Spygate against Trump and the subsequent 2-year-long Russian collusion probe but to say no is admission of perjury for swearing to and signing an unread affidavit. Either way he goes to jail. How pitifully he wriggles, twists and turns like a worm, impaled by a hook, though one wouldn’t suspect it from his cocky smirk and demeanor.
But his first maneuver of evasion is rather stupid: he turns to FBI Director Wray seated to his right at the congressional witness table. Getting no help there and at the reminder by the impatient Congressman that the question is for him to answer Rosenstein says that he doesn’t need to read every FISA warrant he signs, that he merely need to understand what’s in it. To anyone who understands English that means, No, he hasn’t read it.
Gohmert expresses his surprise somewhat uncertainly, perhaps too shocked to believe what he has heard: “When you approve a FISA application, in your mind, does that mean you should read it and understand what’s part of it?” He should have said “you should read it,” period. If he must add anything, it would be: “and understand every part of it.” Instead, under the shock effect mentioned, he says “and understand what’s part of it”.
This is the opening he needs and Rosenstein jumps in with both feet: “You should certainly understand what’s part of it, sir.”
Belatedly realizing his error Gohmert orders Rosenstein not to “parse words” and tries to pin him down to his answer: “So, that doesn’t mean you need to read it, in your opinion – is that correct?” Actually, he intends to say, “So, that means you need not read it,” but the negative is shifted to the auxiliary verb, a frequent colloquialism. Perhaps encouraged by this grammatical slip Rosenstein unhesitatingly declares: “It depends on the circumstances.”
In exasperation Gohmert says: “Well, I am telling you, being a former felony state judge, if I had somebody like you come before me and now it was revealed later that the guy that signed and approved an application for a warrant had not even read the application that would allow spying on somebody, I would look at everything he signed from then on with a jaundiced eye.” And let that guy go on signing applications, whether looked at with a jaundiced eye or not, instead of throwing him in jail immediately?
Eventually we learn that as supervisor of over a hundred thousand employees he routinely signs off on thousands of documents all the time, apparently not reading but understanding it by telepathy, hearsay, or something and that only partially. How can Congress with its duty of oversight let these arrogant clowns occupy such high positions? Or is it the built-in impotence of Congress, as one may wonder watching the game Rosenstein is allowed to play with Congressional demand for documents? With a smug, taunting smile he says he has produced over a million. Irrelevant trash intended to head off and drown Congress, whereas only a fraction of what is really wanted has been served up, and that heavily “redacted”, that is, blacked out, speciously for national security’s sake. Baloney! Upon restoration, because there is technology for it, it is innocuous stuff, security-wise, but dynamite, destroying the integrity and credibility of Rosenstein and company.
Frustrated and disgusted, Rep. Gowdy tells Rosenstein to wrap up the whole Russia probe, which is tearing the nation apart. Indeed, it is a pity this tragicomedy is allowed to drag on. But there may be a silver lining. In the end Congress will get what it wants. Summoned to testify are the rank and file staffers of the DOJ ad FBI, some bound to blow the whistle on the collusion among the top dogs, Rosenstein, Wray, and others, all deeply involved in a vast corruption scheme, like coverup for Hillary’s uranium deal, and send the whole lot of them to jail.
Will the system remain clean and wholesome after their purge? Not if staffed with another crop of lawyers, professionally trained to fudge and dodge expertly like Rosenstein. Maybe it’s high time lawyers were barred from government employment, especially DOJ. Most legal work can be done by college freshman interns, thanks to the internet, video, and other devices. When necessary outside contractors can be consulted for a flat fee. We certainly don’t need lawyers in the upper echelons of government, to sign off without reading. See how America is getting great again with Trump at the helm rather than a career politician, that is, a lawyer. We need many more businessmen, engineers, builders, doctors, and other real-life experts in government, not politicians. The very idea of anyone making a career of government service should make us puke (see Manifesto of Radical Democracy, 5-25-2014, typakmusings.com).