PoliZette

DiGenova Says Rosenstein Created Special Counsel for No Legal Reason

Former Reagan attorney believes media have been 'useless' in reporting on Nunes memo — and singles out NBC News for criticism

There is no underlying crime in the Trump-Russia investigation, so special counsel Robert Mueller’s operation should be closed, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Joseph diGenova told Laura Ingraham on Monday.

The lack of any underlying crime could cause any convictions Mueller did win to be thrown out in the future, diGenova said on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed the former FBI director as special counsel in May 2017. DiGenova said Rosenstein’s failure to task Mueller with investigating a specific crime could negate his findings.

“There must be a predicate crime that was committed to allow the appointment,” diGenova told Ingraham. “The Mueller probe was legally ill-founded … It’s pretty clear there was no basis for the appointment of a special counsel.”

Mueller’s appointment was ostensibly to examine allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. But it appears so far that Mueller has focused on possible ties and collusion between Russian government and business figures and President Donald Trump’s campaign.

So far, nobody has been indicted for crimes explicitly connected to the Russian collusion allegations. The only indictments Mueller has made public are for financial wrongdoing and misleading statements to the FBI.

DiGenova said Rosenstein’s errors will not cause him to be fired — but after a period of time, Rosenstein will simply become nonfunctional as an officer of the Department of Justice.

The reason Rosenstein appointed Mueller was to provide political cover for Trump in the wake of his firing of then-FBI Director James Comey, diGenova said. Democrats and many in the liberal mainstream media incessantly demanded a special investigation.

The liberal mainstream media have done a poor job, too, diGenova said.

Ingraham noted that NBC News’ Peter Alexander implied that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, was a frequent guest of the White House, and he suggested that the president’s staff may have helped write Nunes’ Friday memo based on classified information and describing abuses of the U.S. intelligence surveillance process.

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NBC’s attacks on Nunes have often been over the top, diGenova and Ingraham agreed. In late January, MSNBC analyst John Heilemann asked on the “Morning Joe” program: “Is it possible that the Republican chairman of the House Intel Committee has been compromised by the Russians?”

“NBC News now is a cesspool … NBC News doesn’t understand the word ’embarrassment’ anymore,” diGenova said.

Ingraham agreed that NBC News and MSNBC — especially “Morning Joe” — have become virulently anti-Trump.

“They are so nasty. There is nothing positive that Trump can do.”

“I used to watch ‘Morning Joe’ regularly for fun. Now it’s just an unpleasant place to be,” said Ingraham. “They are so nasty. There is nothing positive that Trump can do.”

DiGenova noted that the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court, which issues spying warrants, had previously said the FBI and former President Barack Obama’s Justice Department violated the law to get warrants. That finding by the court is never mentioned now, diGenova said.

In late October 2016, the Obama administration admitted problems with its warrants at a closed-door hearing of the court, according to Circa News.

PoliZette White House writer Jim Stinson can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.