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Friday, April 26, 2019

A great explanation of the rule of law

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave a speech to the Armenian Bar Association in New York that ignited a dozen Fake News headlines. None of the stories made sense as reporters see themselves as interpreters, not witnesses.

So I found the transcript.

I learned that his wife had headed the association, and that he is considered an Armenian by Choice.

He said, "We use the term rule of law to describe our obligation to follow neutral principles. As President Trump pointed out, 'we govern ourselves in accordance with the rule of law rather [than] … the whims of an elite few or the dictates of collective will.'

"Justice Anthony Kennedy explained it this way: in a rule of law system, when you apply to a government clerk for a permit and you satisfy the objective criteria, you are not asking for a favor. You are entitled to the permit, and it is the clerk’s duty to give it to you.

"The idea that the government works for the people is relatively novel. In some countries, that concept of a government bound by law to serve the people does not exist.

When I visited Armenia in 1994, the nation was emerging from seven decades of Soviet domination. Gyumri and other northern cities were not yet rebuilt after the 1988 earthquake. The six-year war with Azerbaijan was halted by a recent ceasefire, but the blockade over Nagorno-Karabakh crippled the economy.

"We flew on Air Armenia, which used a shabby old Russian jet. Our plane needed to stop for fuel in Bulgaria, and we heard that the pilots paid with cash.

"Armenia faced many challenges in 1994. Many skilled and educated people had left the country. When we hired a taxi to visit Lake Sevan, the driver turned off the engine at every downhill stretch to conserve gasoline.

"We stayed at a nice hotel near Republic Square, but some mornings there was no water to flush the toilets, and some evenings there was no electricity to cook the food.

"I gave a lecture at the University of Yerevan about public corruption.  When I finished, a student raised his hand.  He asked, 'If you can’t pay bribes in America, then how do you get electricity?'

"I repeat that question in many speeches. It usually elicits laughter. But the point is profound. The question illustrates how that young man understood Soviet society. Corruption undermines law. It stifles innovation, creates inefficiency, and inculcates distrust."


The rule of law was broken when Obama obstructed justice and stopped the prosecution of Hillary. Oh, Loretta Lynch and Jim Comey gave him plausible deniability but we all know what happened.

Rosenstein tried to fix it.

President Trump did too.

Rosenstein noted, "America’s founders understood that the rule of law is not partisan. In 1770, five American colonists died after British soldiers fired on a crowd in the Boston Massacre. The soldiers were charged with murder. Many people believed that they deserved the death penalty. John Adams agreed to represent the soldiers. His political beliefs were firmly against them. But Adams felt obligated to protect their rights under the law."

This was an extremely unpopular duty to volunteer for.

Rosenstein said, "At the trial, Adams delivered a timeless tribute to the rule of law. He said that 'facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.'"

They are.

In his press conference on the Mueller Report, Bill Barr defended Rosenstein. I see why.

He said, "Corruption undermines law. It stifles innovation, creates inefficiency, and inculcates distrust."

Those 11 words deserve repeating.


  1. Where was Rosenstein's belief in the Rule of Law when he signed the 4th Carter Page FISA application. He knew that the Steel Dossier, which supported the FISA application was "manufactured" by US Intelligence agencies.

    1. Facts are evidence, rumor is not, at least in our judicial system before social media.

    2. Laws for thee, none for me.

  2. Rosenstein I had all wrong...his star isn't as tarnished as I had thought...those 11 words need repeating...often.

    1. Don't beat yourself up just yet. There's lots of evidence Rosenstein was eye deep in the cover up.

  3. Obama's involvement in the collusion scheme is the most likely technical reason Muller took two years to "investigate" Trump. Comey, as his friend and confidant, had to have told him Trump was innocent before he took the job. Two days before M was appointed both were in the Oval trying to convince Trump to make M the FBI Director. Was Muller hoping to work for Putin? I doubt it.
    So, What else was there to do except try and trap Trump, who always punches back, in a process crime of "obstruction", like Flynn, and all for more than one politcal reason. I have no doubt Trump's income taxes and that of his organization and every phone call and text he and his family ever made, all recorded by the NSA, as is everyone else's, had also already been sifted through many an AI program with no result. Giuliani says it all was to protect the Clintons but I think Obama needed protection more than they since The political fall out would be really heavy. Perhaps This is also why Muller had 15 Democrat operatives working for him, not to look fair, but to actually be very unfair.
    Rod the Perfect Lawman must know the truth from the bottom up. Will he ever come clean? Or do we have to to wait for the book deal?

  4. If Rosenstein believed in an uncorrupted rule of law he would never have appointed Mueller.

    Mueller was conflicted having just been turned down for FBI director; he was a close friend of Comey; he had a bad business transaction with Trump; he was NOT appointed to investigate an articulated crime as the statute requires.

    Rosenstein was also conflicted and should have recused having written the letter that served as a basis to fire Comey and having taken part in Crossfire Hurricane.

    Sorry, Don. Rosenstein talks a good game but had he stood up for the rule of law sooner, everything we're now learning that he has spent years covering up and redacting would have been known and dealt with in January of 2017.

  5. I don't judge folks by what they say just what they do. Rosenstein is a snake. Maybe not a poisonous one but still a snake.

  6. I do not trust Rosenstein. Sure, he talks a good game. So does Comey. Comey has made claims of his integrity and honesty and his answering to a higher power, a higher honor. Yet, even through the biased media we have so many examples of Comey not being anything close to what he says he is.

    Rosenstein had far too many reasons to recluse himself which were much more involved with this mess than Sessions did, yet he held on to power. He also backdated authorization for some of Herr Mueller's actions and investigations.

    Who authorized the early morning raids that were done for the benefit of the media? People seeing that done will readily believe they are guilty without knowing a single thing about what they were being abused like that for.

    The one sided nature of the investigation when it was supposed to be about Russian interference in our elections was under the direction of Rosenstein. When was the early morning, CNN covered raid on the Clintons, the Obamas, on Comey and Brennan and Clapper? When were they brought under investigation for their roles in this?

    What about the collusion with Russia in Uranium One? Which Herr Mueller gave a pass on even knowing that the contributions to the Clintons from those Russians was an automatic disqualifying factor. What about the Steele dossier and the reliance on Russians who gave him the information which has not been collaborated?

    Rosenstein had the power to direct the pathways the investigation should take. He didn't. Why?

    The statements by the Democrats that claim this is worse than Watergate are correct. This is projection from them of course, as it was Obama's regime which used government agencies to spy on the opposition campaign, and was afterward used to hinder and shackle Trump at the instigation of Comey.

    Rosenstein might claim equality under the law, yet he sure does seem to have a blind eye toward the elites in the National Socialist party. This is the crux of the condemnation of Rosenstein. It may be that he is the lynchpin which will be used to go after the true criminals in this attempted coup, but I have concerns those involved with this will skate. If Rosenstein exposes all the actors in this and it leads to convictions against them, I will hold him in slightly higher regard, but only because he did the right thing in the end, to save himself.

  7. What we are witnessing is Rosenstein looking for immunity. Watch over the coming weeks as others start walking back into each ones corner and starts pointing the finger and trying to look like they did their best under the circumstance...

    There's no other reason for Rosie to be looking like a choir boy now. When Barr gave his Press Conference last Friday, Rosie's face said "HOLY SH** I'm F'd! And given Barr's compliments to Rosie he may already secured his immunity.

  8. This is a wonderful post, Don. We need to hear these kind of timeless historical vignettes from you, Rosenstein to keep us strong as a Republic. Of course many ultra-partisan citizens don't begin to understand principles living and the rule of law.

    Thanks, Don.

  9. Rosenstein knows how to say the right words.
    But signing off on the FAKE dossier against Trump to get FISA spying was in violation of the rule of law.
    Not indicting Hillary over her illegal server and illegal Secret documents also was not rule of law.

    He said, very well, what rule of law is.
    But he did NOT practice what he now preaches.

    1. RR is a Swamp dweller, and he is skilled at survival in the DC bureaucracy.

  10. Ideally, it should make no difference if your judge is a Liberal or a Conservative. It should not matter if the judge is male or female, black or white, Christian or Jew, young or old.

    Contrary to what Sonia Sotomayor believes, the same facts and the same law should get the same rulings every time, regardless of the judge.

    1. Absolutely! This is often overlooked, but it's key to the rule of law.

      Well stated!

  11. Very VERY suspicious of the sudden epiphany of this individual. Is he now covering his arse because more reports are to follow? Suddenly he sounds like a right winger but he was in the thick of the torment against Trump. Not buyin' it. Something is afoot and he wants to inoculate himself. Don't be fooled by his sudden volte face. He knows how the game is played and it looks like he is playing to save his behind.