Influence? What influence?

Rosenstein is dropping the mask.

Former deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein on Monday defended his role in the firing of James B. Comey from the FBI and criticized the bureau’s former director as a “partisan pundit” — offering one of his most detailed public accounts of the hectic events that led to the appointment of Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel.

Partisan? Partisan in what sense? Comey was a lifelong Republican until Trump and the Republican enablers of Trump turned him off that party without turning him on to the other one. It can’t be called “partisan” for Republicans or conservatives to be disgusted by Trump and the party loyalty to Trump. Trump is a bad man, and that’s not a “partisan” issue. Harvey Weinstein supported Democrats; that doesn’t make me see Harvey Weinstein as not a bad man.

In prepared remarks, Rosenstein seemed to minimize the effect Comey’s firing could have had on the inquiry. He said that when a White House lawyer first told him Trump had decided to fire Comey, “Nobody said that the removal was intended to influence the course of my Russia investigation.”

Well they wouldn’t tell him that, would they. “Hi, Rod, the president has decided to fire Comey to fuck with your Russia investigation”; no, they wouldn’t have said that. Is that his alibi? It seems weak.

“I would never have allowed anyone to interfere with the investigation,” he asserted, though he conceded later that he “recognized that the unusual circumstances of the firing and the ensuing developments would give reasonable people cause to speculate about the credibility of the investigation.”

Ya think?

Rosenstein made clear, too, that he has been distressed by Comey’s recent commentary about him. He referred to a New York Times op-ed in which Comey suggested that Rosenstein and Attorney General William P. Barr had allowed their souls to be consumed by Trump.

“But now the former director is a partisan pundit, selling books and earning speaking fees while speculating about the strength of my character and the fate of my immortal soul,” Rosenstein said. “That is disappointing. Speculating about souls is not a job for police and prosecutors.”

Oh stop. Talk of selling the soul is a metaphor. and Comey’s disgust at Trump is not partisan. Talk about “disappointing”…

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