Senators: Rosenstein knew of Comey firing before memo

Angie Massey
May 19, 2017

Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. One of the attendees, speaking on condition of anonymity, described Rosenstein as anxious and nervous and said he drank multiple glasses of water "and spilled one".

Trump later said in an interview with NBC News last week that he had made a decision to fire Comey "regardless of the recommendation" from the Justice Department. That explanation was contradicted by the president himself, who told NBC News last week that he made a decision to fire Comey "regardless" of the memo.

Then he had the very poor performance on Wednesday.

When White House counsel Don McGahn told President Trump that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had just appointed Mueller as special prosecutor for the Russian probe, the president handled the news well than anyone expected.

"The Justice Department, at any given time may have confidence that it can do the job the right way, but the public perception - no matter what it does - might be that it didn't, but given the situation we're in now you'd be hard pressed to find a better choice than Bob Mueller".

"He came down here many times and said to me, 'You remember one thing: Take care of people first, and your people will take care of the Federal Bureau of Investigation mission, '" said Bernazzani. "We've discussed this before", Spicer said.

The appointment of Mueller as special counsel came as a welcome surprise to many, including Bernazzani, who used to work for him. Additionally, he said he got the impression from the briefing that Rosenstein believed there are criminal elements to it.

"You're overthinking this", Risch said when asked about any precedent.

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"I$3 think he will be the beneficiary of the special prosecutor", Dershowitz said. Other advisers joined the discussion, with a goal of presenting the President with a plan for outside legal counsel as the Russian Federation investigation enters a new and potentially perilous phase for the White House. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said. He did not offer any evidence of such acts in his reference to Democratic former President Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Trump is not-so-subtly leaving the door open to the possibility that someone not named Donald Trump - some names that come to mind are Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Carter Page - colluded or in some way did something questionable with Russian Federation. Trump has said he will make a "fast decision" on who will replace Comey.

And Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, who had been considered a contender for FBI director but removed himself from the running, said he thought senators were taking the investigation "enormously seriously".

"It was a counterintelligence investigation before now. I certainly hope there wasn't any but if there is there are going to be very serious consequences", Dent told CNN.

Congressional investigators "will have to be very leery of crossing into Mr. Mueller's lane", he said. "Because he is a man of great integrity and experience", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

The Senate investigation seems to have hit a roadblock, however. Sen.

Pressed on whether he asked Comey to quash an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn's foreign contacts, Trump grew testy.

The former U.S. House Intelligence Committee chair and a former Arizona attorney general sit on either side of the political aisle. "Consistent with the Committee's position since the beginning of or investigation, I welcome their willingness to cooperate", Burr spokeswoman Rebecca Glover said.

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