Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line.
During the third hour, McCabe weighed in on the Rod Rosenstein Senate hearings and questioned Antifa’s roll in the George Floyd riots.
Leahy: We are joined on the line now by our good friend and the national correspondent for The Tennessee Star and all of our Star News Media outlets. Neil McCabe welcome.
McCabe: Michael! Very good to be with you. Good morning.
Leahy: What is going on in that crazy capital of ours, Washington, D.C.? The governor of Virginia refuses to send in the national guard to help out. There were protesters. They had to put up a chain-linked fence beyond the regular fence. They were trying to knock that down. Was it crazier last night in Washington or a little bit calmed down?
McCabe: Things are starting to calm down a little bit. And it will be very interesting to see how much the news cycle changes today with Rod Rosenstein testifying at the Senate side. It’s always sort of this, I think of it like the cloud cover for the Battle of the Bulge.
And you know it’s like our troops were trapped by the Germans and we couldn’t help them because of the cloud cover. As soon as the cloud breaks and the planes can come in and relieve our boys. It’s like COVID was dominating the news cycle and turning it against the president and just as COVID started to break and other stories were starting to be popping up. We have this tragedy in Minneapolis.
I would love to find out if they really did designate Antifa as a terrorist group, well let’s break open that network and find out what they are up to. There is no way, there is no way this was spontaneous. And there is no way that this mayhem wasn’t subject to centralized command and control by someone.
Leahy: I completely agree with that assessment. Bill Barr is looking into that, isn’t he? I think. We’ll find out at some point in the near future the details.
McCabe: We’ll see, right? In April of 2019, I was in the room at the National Press Club in D.C. when Senator Lindsey Graham said I am going to investigate the investigators. And what? It’s been a year and a half? And his first hearing is today? That’s not good.
Leahy: Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General. He’s the guy that was apparently involved to some degree, he was part of the Trump administration’s Department of Justice but I think he’s got a lot of explaining to do today.
McCabe: It’s very interesting with him because you remember that the Democrats led by Chuck Schumer tried to get Carl Rose like arrested because George W. Bush fired some Democratic U.S. attorneys. A lot of times an administration comes in and just fires every single U.S. attorney. The Obama administration fired I think there are 90-95 US attorneys in the country. All but five were let go on day one. January 20 everybody was basically told to clean up their desk. Of the five US attorneys that Obama kept, one of them was Rosenstein.
McCabe: But the legend is that some never-Trumpers who weaseled their way into the early Trump administration with Reince Preibus and that RNC crowd. They gave the president a stack of papers and they slipped Rod Rosenstein in there as the Deputy Attorney General thinking that it would go through. Jeff Sessions had a horrific confirmation fight.
I was in the Senate in the press gallery watching it like at 1:30 in the morning when I was at Breitbart covering that. And it’s like literally every single Trump appointment was getting the max debate. Schumer was forcing 30 hours of debate for every single nominee. Everything was a fight. Rosenstein was what? Was it 94 to six? Something like that. That guy just walks in. That was a clue. Nobody thought Rosenstein was getting in.
Leahy: What are the big questions that he will be asked today that will be difficult for him?
McCabe: I think Rosenstein’s name is on at least one of those FISA warrants. And another thing is that he appointed Mueller in May of 2017 to look into the sort of Russian collusion. But by then, the FBI already knew that not only was the Steele dossier and a lot of the information came from Russian sources but the main source of the craziest accusations that had already been debunked previously by the FBI.
And so there was no evidence for the collusion or the cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russians and yet he did it anyway. And then in August of 2017 Rosenstein expanded the scope of Mueller’s investigation and that included going after Flynn in August.
And we’ve talked about this I think it was last week about Svetlana Lokhova. So why is he expanding an investigation that he knows is bogus? And I think the third thing and I don’t know if it will come up is that when Mueller finally testified, Barr was saying I want Mueller to testify.
Jerry Nadler the chairman of House Judiciary said, “I want Mueller to testify.” Mueller did not want to testify because Mueller knew that his brain had become bread pudding (Leahy laughs) and the guy was Mr. Magoo. It was like, did Rosenstein know that Mueller had become Mr. Magoo and had no idea what was in the Mueller report himself.
I’ve spoken to Guiliani more than once about his personal frustrations dealing with Mueller because Mueller seemed distracted. It would take Mueller like months to get back to Guiliani. Guiliani is representing the President of the United States and is trying to resolve this thing.
He can’t even get Mueller on the phone because they have him hiding somewhere. Now of course we know it was all weekend at Bernie’s. Rosenstein was directly supervising Mueller. He had to know that Mueller was having difficulties. Let’s just say that Mike.
Leahy: Is Rosenstein going to be in legal jeopardy do you think after this testimony?
McCabe: Obviously you can’t lie to Congress. I think his law license could be in jeopardy. But the way things go in D.C. you know, he’ll get a hall pass because he was going after Trump, right? We have a dual justice system in this country.
If you are a Republican or a Trump supporter you get the electric chair. If you are a Democrat and you do the exact same thing or worse you become a professor somewhere or the head of an institute. So much of this is now just an audition for your gig at CNN.
Leahy: Exactly. Who on the Judiciary Committee? It’s the Judiciary Committee, right?
Leahy: Who’s going to ask the toughest questions of Rosenstein?
McCabe: I really believe that Lindsey Graham is going to take lead and I know to open up. But Lindsey Graham is fighting for his political life. And he’s up for re-election and he is on the clock. Already people have come out criticizing him. House Republicans and certainly Matt Gaetz and others. So Lindsey Graham absolutely has to stand up and he’s capable of it. We saw what he said towards the end of Kavanaugh.
Leahy: He turned the tide in the Kavanaugh hearing.
McCabe: Absolutely. Absolutely turned the tide. So much so that it was pretty much over once he made that last stand. And I think that we should see that from Graham. He’s absolutely capable of it. And it’s funny how people behave when their re-election is on the table.
Carmichael: Is he up for re-election this year?
Carmichael: Is there a Democrat that might beat him?
McCabe: We don’t necessarily know that. What happens is if he doesn’t support the president? People stay home.
Leahy: Stay home. Neil McCabe, the national correspondent for The Tennessee Star and the Star News network.
Listen to the third hour here:
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