Sometimes the biggest news items on a given day aren’t the most telling ones.
Consider three stories on Thursday about President Trump’s legal issues. First, Bloomberg reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the president last week that he is not a target of either Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation nor of a separate investigation in Manhattan that produced a raid on his longtime fixer, Michael Cohen.
A few hours later, Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, U.S. Attorney, and presidential candidate, said he was joining Trump’s legal team, telling The Washington Post, “I’m doing it because I hope we can negotiate an end to this for the good of the country and because I have high regard for the president and for Bob Mueller.”
Both of these stories were flashy, especially the Giuliani hire. More interesting and relevant, perhaps, was an announcement that Jay Sekulow, who heads Trump’s personal legal team, made at the same time he announced the Giuliani hire. Sekulow said that Marty Raskin and Jane Raskin, a husband-and-wife team of criminal-defense lawyers, would also be added to the president’s team.
The first two stories both suggest swagger on Trump’s part. The White House has far more interest in leaking the story about Rosenstein than the Justice Department, which has in the past been reluctant to publicly say Trump is not a subject, lest it have to correct that publicly. Giuliani is a high-profile name and he’s talking about bringing about an end to Mueller’s probe, even if he offers no plan other than the vague “negotiations.” (Where have we heard that before?)