Hannity to Trump: Don’t fire Rod Rosenstein

Hannah Rogers
September 24, 2018

Trump pointed to Rosenstein's memo as the justification for firing Comey - even though he later admitted he fired the FBI director in an attempt to shut down the bureau's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. But he did not deny the story's claims that he discussed invoking the 25th Amendment and secretly recording the president.

The New York Times reported that Mr Rosenstein had discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th amendment of the U.S. constitution, which provides for the removal of a president if he is deemed unfit for office.

Rosenstein's friends, NBC reports, said the controversial man, whom Republicans want to impeach for a purported conflict of interest in the probe of Russian/Trump campaign collusion in the 2016 election, was just "joking". A spokeswoman for the Justice Department said Rosenstein was speaking sarcastically, and NBC reported likewise. "Prior to this, I was one of the people telling Trump he should not be removed..."

McCabe's lawyer, Michael Bromwich, said in a statement that McCabe had drafted memos to "memorialize significant discussions he had with high level officials and preserved them so he would have an accurate, contemporaneous record of those discussions".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington.

At one point in the May 16 discussions, another senior Justice Department official remarked that it was insane that they were engaged in such conversations at all.

Mr Rosenstein labelled the New York Times story "inaccurate and factually incorrect" in a statement that also blamed anonymous sources promoting personal agendas.

The White House, as of Friday evening, had not commented specifically on the story.

Rosenstein is the key figure standing between Trump and an independent investigation that could reveal whether the president colluded with Russian Federation to swing the 2016 election in his favor.

Rod Rosenstein
Image Rod Rosenstein denied the New York Times' allegations

Under the 25th amendment of the USA constitution, a president can have their power removed and transferred to the vice-president.

"I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false", Rosenstein said.

Asked by the host Chris Wallace if Rosenstein's reported behaviour would constitute "being on the team", Pompeo said: "Not remotely". Rosenstein was reportedly aggravated that Trump had relied on the memo to publicly justify firing Comey.

The report goes on to suggest that Rosenstein was willing to wear a wire and convince Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Chief of Staff John Kelly to invoke the 25th amendment. "He didn't seem to tape anything, he didn't seem to have gone much further with the 25th amendment talk, so this would not be enough to fire Rod Rosenstein. But let me clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment".

Rosenstein was arguing with Andrew McCabe, then the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, about the president, according to a senior Justice Department official.

On Friday, Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr., tweeted the Times story and said: "Shocked!" The only thing missing from this plan was a pretext for firing Rosenstein.

Rosenstein denied the NYT story within moments after it broke shortly before 3 pm EST.

The May 2017 meeting was one of two attended by Rosenstein and McCabe, sources said.

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