Mueller's Team Interviewed Rod Rosenstein About Comey Firing

Frederick Owens
September 21, 2017

Mueller has asked the White House for documents relating to President Donald Trump's actions since he took office, including the firing of his national security adviser and the Federal Bureau of Investigation director and a meeting with Russian officials, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Information was ought from the May meeting between Trump, Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, and Russian ambassador to the United States at the time, Sergey I. Kislyak, along with other Russian officials.

According to a summary of their meeting provided to The New York Times, Trump told Lavrov and Kislyak that Comey was "a nut job" and that firing him had eased the pressure of the Russian Federation investigation.

But that narrative was muddled days later when Trump, in a television interview, said he would have fired Comey regardless of the Justice Department's recommendation.

Former federal prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg told The Journal that it was "unusual" for Mueller's team to sit down with Rosenstein given his oversight of Mueller's team's activities.

Comey was sacked in May, while he was leading the Russian Federation investigation.

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That letter, which is now in Mueller's possession, was ultimately sent to the Justice Department instead of Comey himself because it reportedly mentioned Russian Federation, and McGahn thought it could pose legal problems for Trump. Rosenstein undeniably played a role in Comey's firing - authoring a memo highly critical of the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, which the White House used initially to justify the firing. Since then, administration lawyers have been scouring White House emails and asking officials whether they have other documents or notes that may pertain to Mueller's requests.

Mueller's office has provided a list of documents requested from the White House counsel's office, a legal source says.

Mueller also asked for documents related to the firing of Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser. That meeting was set up by Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, to get derogatory information from Russians about Hillary Clinton.

But Mueller's interest in the initial statement - which did not mention that Trump Jr. had been offered incriminating information on Hillary Clinton in exchange for taking the meeting, or that more than one Russian attended - has reportedly been growing as he investigates whether Trump tried to cover up any interactions he or his associates had with Russians previous year.

"We can't comment on any specific requests being made or our conversations with the special counsel, " he said.

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