is it mueller time?
July 13, 2020

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not directly criticize President Trump in an unusual op-ed Saturday for commuting his friend and adviser Roger Stone's 40-month prison sentence, but he did make clear he didn't see the controversial and objectively self-interested move as serving justice.

Mueller's op-ed, published in The Washington Post, was mostly a response to accusations from Trump and his allies that the Russia investigation "was illegitimate," and specifically "claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office," Mueller wrote. "Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

"Stone became a central figure in our investigation for two key reasons," Mueller said: "He communicated in 2016 with individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers, and he claimed advance knowledge of WikiLeaks' release of emails stolen by those Russian intelligence officers."

Stone was convicted by a jury on several counts of obstructing justice and repeatedly lying to Congress and investigators about those communications with Russian intelligence, and about his frequent updates to seniors Trump campaign officials about Russia's leaking of damaging information on Hillary Clinton via WikiLeaks, Mueller explained. "And he tampered with a witness, imploring him to stonewall Congress." He did not mention that Stone threatened to kill that witness' dog.

The op-ed apparently persuaded Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has rejected previous requests to call Mueller to testify, to reconsider his objections.

Mueller testified before two House committees to discuss his report. Taylor Reidy, a Graham spokeswoman, told the Post that a formal invitation to Mueller is being worked on, though the Post also noted the Senate has only about three dozen legislative days left before the election. Peter Weber

March 19, 2019

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein apparently likes being the Department of Justice's punching bag.

Multiple outlets reported Tuesday that Rosenstein, who once oversaw Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, was planning to keep his job "a little longer" than he once thought. His decision to stay on reportedly came after a discussion with Attorney General William Barr, and CNN's Pamela Brown seems to have a reason why.

Rosenstein has long been seen as a stable voice in a tumultuous DOJ under Trump. He survived what seemed like an inevitable ouster late last year, and was reported to be considering an exit in mid-March. After plans of him staying on longer were reported Tuesday morning, national security expert Clint Watts devised his own explanation: that Barr found a first briefing on Mueller's report too "complicated" to work out on his own, he tweeted. Kathryn Krawczyk

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