Rod Rosenstein didn't want to write the dubious memo rationalizing the Comey firing: report

Rod Rosenstein didn't want to write the dubious memo rationalizing the Comey firing: report
Image credit: Internet Education Foundation

On Friday, The Guardian reported that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's upcoming book gives new insight into how Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was pushed, against his will, to help President Donald Trump justify former FBI Director James Comey's firing with a controversial memo:

Rosenstein made his remarks in a private meeting at the justice department on 12 May 2017, according to McCabe's memoir, which also accuses Trump of operating like a criminal mob boss and of unleashing a "strain of insanity" in American public life.
McCabe recalls Rosenstein being "glassy-eyed", visibly upset and sounding emotional.
"He said it wasn't his idea. The president had ordered him to write the memo justifying the firing," McCabe writes. Rosenstein said he was having trouble sleeping, McCabe writes. "There's no one here that I can trust," he is quoted as saying.

Rosenstein's memo stated that Comey was unfit to lead the FBI because of his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server, and his press conference criticizing her even while announcing no charges were appropriate. "The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial," stated the memo. "It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do." But that was always a suspicious as a rationale for Trump dismissing Comey, given that he repeatedly stated he wanted to jail Clinton over the email controversy.

Subsequent reports suggested Trump had demanded "loyalty" from Comey, and that he boasted to the Russian ambassador in the Oval Office that with "nut job" Comey gone, the pressure of the Russia investigation was "taken off." This is broadly suspected as Trump's real motivation for getting rid of Comey, and was the foundation of an inquiry by Rosenstein and McCabe, later taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller, into whether the president obstructed justice.

The Trump administration also initially denied that Rosenstein was ordered by the president to draft the memo, with former Press Secretary Sean Spicer saying Rosenstein wrote it of his own volition.

McCabe was fired by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions last March. His book, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, will be released later this month. Rosenstein, who has also had a frosty relationship with the president, intends to step down after attorney general nominee William Barr is confirmed.


Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.