Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein denies that he proposed secretly taping Trump

Marsha Scott
September 22, 2018

Terrence Antonio James/TNS/Newscom Oliver Contreras/CNP/AdMedia/NewscomFollowing President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly spoke with Justice Department officials about invoking the 25th Amendment.

Rosenstein oversees the investigation into possible coordination between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

This official and a source who was in the room characterized Rosenstein's remark as sarcastic.

Another source disputed that. The White House initially held up that memo as justification for Comey's firing, though Trump himself has said he was thinking about "this Russian Federation thing" when he made the move. Democrats sharply criticised Rosenstein, accusing him of helping to create a cover story for the president to rationalise the termination.

The Times cited several people, who were not named, who described the episodes that came in the spring of 2017 after FBI Director James Comey was sacked.

Rosenstein denied the allegations, blasting The Times' story as "factually incorrect". One week after the firing, Rosenstein met with McCabe and at least four other senior Justice Department officials, in part to explain his role in the situation.

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In the ensuing days, the president and other members of his administration cited the memo to rationalize Comey's ouster, angering Rosenstein, who is said to have grown increasingly anxious his reputation was being sullied by the move. Sitting in on Trump's interviews with prospective Federal Bureau of Investigation directors and facing attacks for his own role in Comey's firing, Rosenstein had an up-close view of the tumult. One participant asked whether Mr. Rosenstein was serious, and he replied animatedly that he was. As Drudge summarizes it, with only a tad of unfairness: "Rosenstein Wanted to Wear Wire; Plot To Remove Trump".

"Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President."

In the end, the proposals attributed to Rosenstein "went nowhere", the report said. A federal grand jury is now looking into whether McCabe ought to be charged with a crime after an inspector general's report determined he "lacked candor" with the FBI about conversations the deputy director had with a reporter in 2016 about the ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

"When he was interviewed by the Special Counsel more than a year ago, he gave all of his memos - classified and unclassified - to the Special Counsel's office", the statement continued.

He noted that Rosenstein never specifically denied bringing up the 25th amendment, merely that he now sees "no basis" to invoke it now.

But Democrats and other critics of the president have suggested that any attempt to fire Rosenstein would amount to obstructing the investigation.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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