Update – July 13, 12:18 p.m.: 12 members of Russian intelligence were indicted in connection to the DNC hacks. Learn more about this here. You can read our original article below.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is set to hold a press conference at 11:45 a.m. EST about … something. The Justice Department is only describing this as a “law enforcement announcement.” In the past, federal authorities were vague in advance of major statements, leaving people to speculate what the announcement will be. New Republic reporter Matt Ford pointed out that they used almost identical language on February 16 before announcing the press conference about 13 Russian Nationals and 3 companies indicted for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Watch the announcement live in the player above.
Here’s how they phrased it back then:
Today at 1:15pm: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will hold a press conference for a law enforcement announcement. Watch live at https://t.co/ys9U2ZLGww
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) February 16, 2018
Here’s how they phrased it on Friday:
Today at 11:45AM ET: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will hold a press conference for a law enforcement announcement. Watch live at https://t.co/VOabbFCPRW
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) July 13, 2018
Identical except for the time.
It’s not just Ford that noted the similarity.
The only other time DOJ tweeted a Rosenstein announcement w/o topic was the day he announced Mueller’s Russian indictments. pic.twitter.com/jegEAEzQ6b
— Eric Columbus (@EricColumbus) July 13, 2018
FWIW, DOJ also described Rosenstein’s Feb. 16 presser as a “law enforcement announcement.” It was indictments of 13 Russians. https://t.co/YEBr60mo31
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) July 13, 2018
This isn’t to say there aren’t skeptics.
“I fear the collective Twitter letdown that will occur when/if this turns out to be about some Violent Gang Task Force operation or one of the dozens of similar subjects entirely unrelated to Mueller that the DAG might hold a news conference about,” wrote Lawfare executive editor Susan Hennessey. “It certainly could be Special Counsel indictments but it’s probably wise to temper expectations.”
Nonetheless, she said her “spidey-sense” said it is related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. “But it’s always better to keep expectations reasonable,” she wrote.
“A Friday,” wrote The Wall Street Journal‘s Del Quentin Wilber in response. “Rod alone. Press release echoes language of his announcement of the indictment on Russia troll farm in February. Is there something stronger than Spidey sense?”
Of course, it could be for something else entirely unrelated to Mueller’s investigation.
Aaron Keller contributed to this report.
[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]