There is a reason that Donald Trump lashes out at particular targets. The “fake news” media, the “corrupt” FBI, and his “beleaguered” attorney general all have the power to bring him down, and he knows it.
Perhaps no one in the top levels of government suffered quite the same humiliation that former acting director of the FBI Andrew McCabe did. All of Trump’s firings have been vicious. James Comey found out about his firing on TV during a speaking event and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson found out he was fired while sick at home in his bathroom. McCabe’s firing, however, came within hours of the man being able to retire with a pension after serving in the FBI for more than 20 years.
After Comey was fired, memos were given to the press that gave context to the later obstruction of justice investigation into the firing while Comey was conducting the investigation into the alleged collusion between the 2016 presidential campaign and Russian government operatives. Now memos have surfaced that were written by McCabe and they are no less damning.
SCOOP: McCabe feared that Rosenstein helped provide Trump with cover story for Comey firing. Wrote his own memo about it and later gave it to Mueller. w/@adamgoldmanNYT @mattapuzzo https://t.co/GkCSAkKJgj
— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) May 30, 2018
According to The New York Times:
‘In the document, whose contents have not been previously reported, Mr. McCabe described a conversation at the Justice Department with the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, in the chaotic days last May after Mr. Comey’s abrupt firing. Mr. Rosenstein played a key role in the dismissal, writing a memo that rebuked Mr. Comey over his handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton.
‘But in the meeting at the Justice Department, Mr. Rosenstein added a new detail: He said the president had originally asked him to reference Russia in his memo, the people familiar with the conversation said. Mr. Rosenstein did not elaborate on what Mr. Trump had wanted him to say.’
Breaking from the @nytimes: Andrew McCabe feared that Rod Rosenstein helped provide Trump with a cover story for the Comey firing. He even wrote a memo and later gave it to Mueller. Rosenstein also said Trump had asked him to reference Russia in justifying Comey's firing. WATCH: pic.twitter.com/OKw3N2atPK
— Hardball (@hardball) May 30, 2018
One insider at that meeting said that Trump “had simply wanted Mr. Rosenstein to mention that he was not personally under investigation.” Trump did, in fact, mention in the firing letter he issued to Comey that he thanked him for telling him that he wasn’t personally under investigation on multiple occasions, so it definitely seems to be a message he wanted to get out to the public.
That same insider said that Rosenstein told Trump that it was unnecessary information (not to mention that it would have made it clear that the president was firing the FBI director to end the investigation into his campaign, a move that may have made the obstruction suspicions even worse). McCabe believed that Trump’s request to Rosenstein was possible proof of obstruction, and he documented the conversation in his memo due to that belief.
Apparently, Rosenstein was also uncomfortable with something the president said during that time, as he was the official who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Trump and his campaign’s alleged collusion and obstruction of justice.
In the meeting at the DOJ, Rosenstein said Trump had originally asked him to reference Russia in his memo, NYT reports. Rosenstein did not elaborate.
To McCabe, that reportedly seemed like possible evidence that Comey’s firing was actually related to the FBI's Russia probe. https://t.co/IWwG2ZZEXK
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 30, 2018
However, the cover story did eventually make its way into the letter Comey received about his firing. The given reason about his handling of the Clinton email probe has shifted over time, and White House spokespeople like Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway have insisted that Trump didn’t need to give a reason to fire him as he “serves at the pleasure of the president.”
While that may be true, Trump has given reasons, repeatedly. Each one is different than the last and makes the entire story even more suspicious.
Featured image via Getty/Pete Maravich