High Drama

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein listens while US Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the Department of Justice during an announcement about leaking of classified information on August 4, 2017 in Washingto... Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein listens while US Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the Department of Justice during an announcement about leaking of classified information on August 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday condemned the 'staggering number' of leaks emanating from President Donald Trump's administration, as he vowed a crackdown on people revealing classified or sensitive national security information. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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February 16, 2018 4:15 p.m.

It’s worth noting the remarkable stagecraft involved in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, acting attorney general for the Russia probe, deciding to announce today’s indictments (watch the whole thing here).

Rosenstein makes it infinitely harder for Trump to fire him, as he is now the face of the probe. He also spares Mueller from being the face of the probe, and from all the slings and arrows of political fortune that go with that role (recall Ken Starr).

Carrie Cordero, a former prosecutor, captured the dynamic well a short time ago on CNN:

Rosenstein isn’t just overseeing Mueller’s probe, a result of Sessions’ recusal. At some level he’s coordinating with Mueller and providing him cover. That has to be a very bad sign for the White House.

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