Rosenstein: I Knew Comey Would Be Fired

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met with the Senate on Thursday and told them that he knew Trump was going to fire FBI Director James Comey before he ever wrote that now-infamous memo criticizing some of Comey’s actions in the Clinton email investigation.

RodRosenstein

Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, told senators on Thursday that he knew President Trump planned to fire James B. Comey as director of the F.B.I. before he wrote a memo outlining the reasons for his dismissal, according to three Democratic lawmakers who were in the briefing…

Senators Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois and Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut, all Democrats, told reporters immediately after the briefing that Mr. Rosenstein had said Mr. Trump’s decision was made before reviewing a memo that was prepared by the Justice Department.

“There are a lot of missing pieces,” Mr. Durbin said, noting Mr. Rosenstein had left many questions unanswered, specifically regarding what Mr. Trump had said on May 8, and what part Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have played in the decision…

The disclosure by the senators raises the possibility that Mr. Rosenstein could become a witness in the investigation being run by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, a respected former F.B.I. director who served under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The investigation could include an examination of whether Mr. Trump committed obstruction of justice when he asked Mr. Comey to shut down the investigation of Mr. Flynn, and then fired Mr. Comey.

This really does raise many questions, the most obvious of which is whether Rosenstein knew that the memo he wrote, which primarily concerned Comey’s actions in the Clinton email investigation, would be used to lie about the reason Trump was firing Comey. Surely Rosenstein could not seriously believe that Trump gave a damn about Comey undermining Clinton in the final days of the campaign; after all, Trump had praised Comey for doing so at the time. Which means he should also have known that writing that memo would provide a dishonest narrative for Trump to justify firing him. Did he know that and not care? Was he naive enough not to see that coming? Either answer is troubling.

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