by Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media:
A vast caldera of public rage has rightfully been aimed at Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Brenda Snipes over the last few years. However, it is important to remember that Wasserman-Schultz and Snipes are merely the public faces of an extensive, deeply problematic system of corruption. It is then also essential to understand who, and what mechanisms, have allowed figures like Wasserman-Schultz, Snipes, the Awan brothers, and others to go unprosecuted.
This issue became clearer earlier this week when former congressional candidate Tim Canova Tweeted:
I’ve been told it was Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy AG, along with his assistant Steven Wasserman no doubt, who stopped a Federal investigation into Broward’s illegal destruction of all ballots cast in our 2016 primary against Debbie What’sHerRig Schultz.
— Tim Canova (@Tim_Canova) 6 February 2019
As readers may recall, Snipes illegally destroyed ballots from the 2016 primary race between Wasserman-Schultz and Tim Canova. The Sun Sentinel explained Snipes’s direct involvement in the destruction of ballots, writing:
“Canova, who was checking for voting irregularities in the race, sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn’t fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending. Snipes called the action a “mistake” during testimony she gave in the case, saying the boxes were mislabeled and there was “nothing on my part that was intentional” about destroying the contested ballots.”
Big League Politics also reported: “On May 11, 2018, the Florida Circuit Court granted Plaintiff Canova summary judgment, and found that Snipes had violated numerous state and federal statutes, including laws punishable as felonies with up to five years in prison. The Court’s ruling made clear that Snipes’ destruction of ballots was illegal on several separate counts.”
Disobedient Media spoke with Tim Canova, who told us:
“I was recently informed by election officials in Florida that it’s the Deputy AG, Rod Rosenstein, who would have been the DOJ official making the decision not to move forward with a criminal investigation in our ballot destruction case. I also believe that Steve Wasserman, an Assistant US Attorney at the DOJ headquarters in Washington, DC, may well have been involved in the decision, particularly since Wasserman spoke out publicly against prosecuting Awan in the days before Awan’s sentencing.”
A Floridian official set to prosecute Snipes was also said to have backed down after a trip to Washington DC, which involved meetings with the DOJ. Canova stated:
“Last May, the acting US Attorney for South Florida, Ben Greenberg, was about to open a criminal investigation into Snipes’s destruction of our ballots when he flew to DC for a week of meetings at DOJ. When he returned, the investigation was off.”
Canova’s contention that US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may have been responsible for preventing legal consequences for Brenda Snipes is profoundly concerning. Last year, Rosenstein faced heavy criticism in the wake of the publication of the infamous FISA Memo, which Rosenstein signed. Last year, The Daily Beast described the memo’s account of surveillance abuse, saying: “[The memo] specifically names FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein along with former FBI Director James Comey.”
The Washington Times reported: “The memo from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee shows that at least one questionable surveillance warrant application was signed by Mr. Rosenstein, who already had a difficult relationship with President Trump. The memo said information supporting the application was obtained from a partisan anti-Trump dossier funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party.”
Needless to say, the fact that Rosenstein was directly involved with the strongly partisan activities documented by the FISA memo makes it unsurprising that he would interfere on behalf of associates of Hillary Clinton.
Setting the possibility that Wasserman-Schultz’s brother may also have been involved in protecting Snipes from prosecution aside for the moment, Canova’s allegations raise a myriad of new questions, including: who benefits from protecting Snipes?
Undeniably, the most obvious answer is Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the alleged beneficiary of Snipes’s illegal ballot destruction. Similarly, one wonders what connection such a decision may have with the DOJ’s refusal to prosecute the Awan scandal, a move from which Debbie Wasserman-Schultz also directly benefited.