When I went into a film just before 2 pm eastern, the news was that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had verbally resigned to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. When the screening ended just after 4 pm the update was that any talk of departure was on hold until Rosenstein and President Trump meet on Thursday.

The prevailing theory is that the Rosenstein thing is basically a diversion — Trump-generated smoke to take everyone’s mind off of Brett Kavanaugh‘s early ’80s shenanigans. God, what an unruly mess.

N.Y. Times excerpt: “It is not known whether Trump might use the new turmoil at the Justice Department to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a onetime political ally who became the No. 1 target of Trump’s fury when Sessions recused himself from overseeing the Russia investigation.

“Rosenstein’s departure would end what had been an often toxic relationship between Rosenstein and the president that at numerous times left Washington on edge about the potentially drastic consequences for the country if Mr. Trump terminated the deputy attorney general.

“In a Twitter rant in April about what he called the ‘Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation,’ Trump accused Rosenstein of being one of the most conflicted members of the Justice Department, asserting that the deputy attorney general was among those who were seeking evidence of a Trump-led conspiracy.”