GOP congressman says deputy AG tricked Trump into committing obstruction


Rep. Jim Jordan just laid out one of his most convoluted conspiracy theories to date.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is known for spouting off some pretty unhinged conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation, which he says is nothing but an anti-Trump witch-hunt orchestrated by the so-called "deep state" on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

On Wednesday, Jordan added a new layer to the conspiracy theory, alleging that Rod Rosenstein — Trump's handpicked deputy Attorney General — secretly plotted to trick Trump into committing obstruction of justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey as part of a grand scheme to appoint a special counsel so he could investigate Trump for committing obstruction of justice.

Jordan laid out the deranged scheme during an appearance on MSNBC, when host Katy Tur asked him about Trump's controversial decision to pardon Scooter Libby, a former advisor to Dick Cheney who was convicted of four felonies in 2007 for perjury before a grand jury, lying to FBI investigators, and obstruction of justice.

Given the crimes Libby was convicted with, there has been a great deal of speculation about what Trump might have been trying to signal when he granted the pardon on Friday, prompting Tur to ask Jordan if he thinks the pardon looks suspicious under the circumstances.

"Do you think it looks a little bit suspicious for the president to pardon somebody who was convicted of lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice when all this stuff is going on?" Tur asked. "As a neutral observer, do you think it looks suspicious?"

Jordan immediately dodged the question, saying, "I'll tell you what looks strange, or to use your words, suspicious ... is when Rod Rosenstein writes the memo on why you should fire James Comey; Comey leaks a document to create momentum for Bob Mueller to be the special counsel; Rod Rosenstein gets Mueller to be the special counsel; and one of the things that Mueller is looking into is, was there obstruction of justice in the firing of James Comey."

"If that's not the swamp and suspicious and strange, I don't know what is," he continued. "There is lots of strange things happening in this town. I don't see anything more strange than that scenario I just went through."

Well, he's right about one thing — that was definitely strange.

Jordan is arguing that Rosenstein plotted to fire Comey so he could trick Trump into committing obstruction of justice, so he could then appoint a special counsel who could then investigate Trump for obstructing justice.

Besides being ridiculous, Jordan's conspiracy theory fails to account for the fact that Trump is accused of committing obstruction of justice not once, not twice, not three times, but four times. 

According to a report released Thursday, Mueller is finalizing his findings on four potential acts of obstruction by Trump — and only one of them involves the firing of Comey.

The other areas of potential obstruction include Trump’s involvement in drafting a misleading statement about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, the dangling of pardons to grand jury witnesses, and Trump’s role in pressuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia probe.

Jordan didn't mention any of these instances, nor whether he believes Trump was tricked into obstructing justice in four different situations.

He also didn't mention whether he thinks Donald Trump Jr. was tricked into attending a meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised to deliver dirt on Clinton, or whether Mike Flynn was tricked into lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials, or whether Jared Kushner and Jeff Sessions were tricked into concealing their contacts with Russia, or whether Rick Gates was tricked into lying to the FBI about lobbying on behalf of pro-Putin politicians in Ukraine, or whether Roger Stone was tricked into communicating with a Russian intelligence operative.

Nor did he mention whether he thinks Trump was tricked into repeatedly showering praise on Putin, refusing to stand up to Russia, or revealing highly classified intelligence to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

But there's one thing Jordan did make time to mention: With Paul Ryan announcing his retirement, Jordan is seriously considering a bid to replace him as speaker of the House.