Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of forty-five. Sunrise is 6:16 AM and sunset 7:34 PM, for 13h 17m 12s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 46.2% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1861, the Civil War begins as Confederates fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor.
Recommended for reading in full:
Colby Itkowitz Matt Zapotosky report Rosenstein defends Barr’s handling of Mueller report:
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein came to his boss’s defense Thursday, saying it was “bizarre” for anyone to claim Attorney General William P. Barr is “trying to mislead people” by not immediately releasing the special counsel’s report.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, his first since Robert S. Mueller III concluded the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Rosenstein tried to tamp down criticisms of Barr’s handling of the report and the time it is taking him to release it.
“He’s being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think is just completely bizarre,” Rosenstein said in the interview.
Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller to lead the investigation after President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey, helped Barr review the final report, which did not find that anyone on the Trump campaign conspired with Russians. However, Mueller declined to reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice. Barr and Rosenstein then decided they could not make a criminal case that the president obstructed justice.
Daniel Hemel sees The Tragedy of Rod Rosenstein:
But over the past two years—and especially in the past week—this success story has turned into a cautionary tale. Rosenstein’s refusal to recuse himself from the special counsel’s obstruction of justice probe—notwithstanding a conflict of interest so blatant as to be almost blinding—has done irreparable damage to his own reputation and perhaps to the department that until now has been his only professional home.
It is difficult to understand how Rosenstein ended up in such a compromised position. Perhaps he will one day write a reflective memoir—as his two nemeses, Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, already have. Until then, we can reconstruct the timeline easily enough, but we can only speculate as to Rosenstein’s motives at each step of the way.
The Russia probe was, among other things, a test of whether the department could conduct and conclude an impartial investigation of a sitting president by following its own special counsel rules. While it is too early to reach a final verdict on that question, the serious conflict of interest affecting the man who oversaw that inquiry casts a continuing shadow over the enterprise.
David Frum observes Trump’s ability to lead people like Rosenstein into moral compromises: