Rod’s reputation, which he’s earned, is that he does things by the book.”
.. According to senators, Rosenstein later testified in a closed-door briefing that he knew before he wrote the memo that Trump would fire Comey.
.. Democrats and many lawyers in Washington who had a high opinion of Rosenstein were shocked that he allowed himself to be used by Trump and Sessions in such a blatant scheme to oust the person investigating the President’s own campaign. Senator Chuck Schumer wrote to Rosenstein warning that the Deputy Attorney General had “imperiled” his reputation as an “apolitical actor.”
.. “The content of that memo is totally in keeping with Rod,” the former Obama official said. “He’s a by-the-book guy, and he was deeply offended by how Comey broke the rules. The thing I don’t understand is how Rod let himself get played like that.”
.. a clash between the two men’s distinguishing characteristics: Comey’s zealous self-regard for his own independence and Rosenstein’s adherence to the letter of the law and Justice Department guidelines.
.. Before Comey was fired, he apparently never went to Rosenstein and explained the steps that Trump had taken to try to shut down the investigation of Michael Flynn. If Comey had, Rosenstein would have known that Trump was taking actions that looked a lot like obstruction of justice. “If Comey had gone to Rod, he would never have written that memo,”
.. “Those alarm bells should have gone off for Rod anyway, but Comey, by keeping it so close and feeling he’s not accountable to anyone, made it easier for Rod.”
.. his actions to safeguard the independence of the investigation and publicly warn Trump that he would not obey an order to fire Mueller may have triggered Trump’s wrath
.. Ironically, Trump is now alluding to the fact that Rosenstein was—wittingly or not—a part of the plot to get rid of Comey. Trump may be seizing on that fact as a way to push Rosenstein into recusing himself from the Russia investigation.
.. It is classic Trump: he ensnared Rosenstein in a scheme to get rid of Comey. Now that Rosenstein has tried to correct his error and insulate the investigation from further meddling, Trump is using Rosenstein’s role in the scheme to try to push him aside. (If this sounds like a plot from “The Sopranos,” it’s because there were, in fact, several episodes like this.)
.. The next person in line, Rachel Lee Brand, the Associate Attorney General, has a background in Republican politics and little experience in criminal or national-security cases.) If Rosenstein is forced to recuse himself, whoever comes after him as Mueller’s overseer will know that Trump is hoping that he or she will be more pliable.
.. Deviating from the rules is frowned upon; employees can face termination for a foul-up, according to people familiar with the matter... At United, this has helped create a rules-based culture where its 85,000 employees are reluctant to make choices not in the “book,”.. At least some decisions that led to the crisis were fueled by employees following rules.. Last Sunday evening, Republic Airways Holdings Inc., the regional airline operating the flight for United, asked an hour before departure for four of its crew members to take the place of passengers, according to a person familiar with the matter. The crew was needed the next day at the flight’s destination in Louisville, Ky., the person said.. But the two pilots and two flight attendants didn’t arrive at the gate until a few minutes before departure, according to United’s pilots union. All the passengers were already seated.
.. In hindsight, the gate agent should have said, “Folks, we’re not leaving until someone gets off. If someone doesn’t take the $800, we’re going to cancel the flight,” said the United pilot, who wasn’t involved in the incident... People close to United said the rules-based calculus is to inconvenience the fewest number of fliers... United hasn’t provided its front-line managers and supervisors with “the proper tools, policies, procedures that allow them to use their common sense.”“That’s on me,“ he said. ”I have to fix that.
.. Decades-old union conventions that enshrine seniority over performance are part of the problem, one former executive said, because employees are rewarded for their tenure rather than their talent... Mr. Munoz also said United will change its former policy of asking law enforcement officers to remove passengers from its flights—unless it is a matter of safety and security... But Mr. Milton added that Dr. Dao’s mistreatment and United’s flat-footed reaction must become “a defining moment in the history of United Airlines pivoting to customer service and customer delivery.”