Attorney General William Barr held a press conference on Thursday morning, ahead of the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report on the Russian election interference investigation. Barr was joined at Department of Justice podium by two men: one, with a beard and seemingly normal body movements, and the other, unmoving and with unblinking eyes staring probingly in the direction of the camera.
The unflinching man was none other than embattled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Rosenstein has had an interesting history with President Donald Trump’s administration. The deputy attorney general started out in the president’s good graces but then apparently drew Trump’s ire when he named Mueller as the special counsel. He later approved of the FBI raid into former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s office, joked about wearing a wire to record Trump, talked about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, and faced rumors he was going to step down. (He hasn’t, yet.)
As Barr spoke — giving his interpretation of the Mueller report — it was hard to notice anything other than Rosenstein’s eyes, which almost seemed like those of a broken android, designed to look human but momentarily stalled in the “open” position. We know from the discourse around disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes that not blinking doesn’t necessarily indicate anything about a person’s behavior — but the haunting image of his overall stillness was still a sight to behold.
So, uh, should someone go check on this guy?