- The Washington Times
Friday, August 30, 2019

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday appeared to chide James B. Comey after the Justice Department’s Inspector General released a scathing report blasting the ex-FBI director.

And when two journalists from MSNBC and CNN objected, Mr. Rosenstein threw shade at them, too.

Mr. Rosenstein did not explicitly mention Mr. Comey, but he quoted a letter in which he warned against violating long-standing Justice Department policy for short-term political results.

“It is important for the Department of Justice to follow established policies and procedures, especially when the stakes are high,” Mr. Rosenstein tweeted.

He added: “We should be most on guard when we believe that our own uncomfortable circumstances justify ignoring … principles respected by our predecessors,” he continued.

On Thursday, Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz criticized Mr. Comey for violating FBI policy by leaking sensitive bureau documents to friend who turned the material over to The New York Times.

Two journalists shot back at Mr. Rosenstein, accusing him of a double standard when it came to his former boss, Attorney General William P. Barr and President Trump.

Renato Mariotti, a legal analyst for CNN, made what appeared to be a reference to Mr. Barr’s decision to summarize former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation.

“You speak up about Comey failing to ‘follow established policies and procedures’ but stood silent beside Barr when he misled the public about Trump,” Mr. Mariotti tweeted.

Mr. Mariotti also accused the president of using “his power to try to quash investigations of him and his friends.”

Mr. Rosenstein quickly shot back, “Notice how this pundit completely misses the point and thereby illustrates it.”

Next, the former No. 2 official at the Justice Department sniped at MSNBC reporter Matthew Miller who called the inspector general’s conclusions, “Asinine.” He also blasted Mr. Rosenstein.

“Asinine. Comey did what he did because the president was actively trying to dismantle DOJ’s normal way of operating,” Mr. Miller wrote. “The AG [Jeff Sessions] and the DAG [Mr. Rosenstein] were both complicit, so Comey had no where else to take his concerns. It must be nice to live in the context-free world inhabited by the IG.”

Mr. Rosenstein responded by linking Mr. Miller’s Washington Post op-ed in which he accused Mr. Comey of “an abuse of power” in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

“Another pundit illustrates my point: In 2016, he agreed policy violations ‘should trouble anyone who believes in the rule of law and fundamental principles of fairness’ ” Mr. Rosenstein tweeted. “Many employees dislike supervisors, but most keep faith with government institutions.”

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