“So how do we resolve the conflict? Not legally. It gets resolved through the political weapons the Framers gave the two branches. The outcome depends on how much damage each side is willing or able to inflict on the other, and how much damage each is willing to sustain rather than give in. It is rare that one side achieves total victory; almost always, there is a compromise — and the sooner they get to it the better.”
(Andrew C. McCarthy – National Review) “You’re the boss.”
That was Representative Jim Jordan’s terse rejoinder during a feisty exchange with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the House Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearing on Thursday. The Ohio Republican was blasting Rosenstein over information Republicans say Justice Department officials have concealed from Congress for a year.
As the jaw-boning continued, Rosenstein fended off claims that he had personally withheld files, redacted key portions of documents, and counseled a controversial witness, FBI agent Peter Strzok, to refuse to answer questions at a closed-door congressional interview.
These calls were made by subordinates, Rosenstein DAG-splained.
“They work for you,” Jordan bluntly replied.
And so it went. Rosenstein pointed out that, yes, 115,000 people work for him. Translation: He cannot possibly know what each of them is doing the moment they are doing it. When condescension failed, he tried earnestness: He’ll intercede with underlings if the committee brings any errors to his attention. Tin-eared, he emphasized that he had already done this several times . . . oblivious to the committee’s exasperation that it has several times been necessary to do.
Two discordant notes clanged throughout the joust. First, if Rosenstein is not actively instructing his charges to withhold information, he needs to work on his management skills, since they clearly assume this stonewall is a top-down enterprise. Has anyone been disciplined for hiding from Congress Strzok’s explosive text promising to “stop” Donald Trump from being elected? And that’s hardly an atypical concealment. If Rosenstein isn’t encouraging this nonsense, how come nobody’s walking the plank over it?