President Trump is reportedly weighing whether or not to fire Rod Rosenstein, as multiple sources close to the matter told CNN that the president’s interest in releasing the deputy attorney general was heightened after the office of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen was raided by the FBI.
The CNN report noted that such a move could limit special counsel Robert Mueller’s quickly escalating investigation into Trump and Russia. However, the sources who spoke to the network said that even firing Rosenstein may not be enough a drastic enough move for the president who is reeling after the Cohen raid that the deputy attorney general personally signed-off on, per the New York Times.
At one point, Trump was driven to reportedly ask if “my guys” with the “Trump Justice Department” could handle all the investigation matters, all while complaining to administration officials that Rosenstein and the DOJ are not providing sufficient protection from Mueller’s probe.
Interestingly, Trump used Rosenstein’s words to defend his reputation as recently as February of this year, tweeting, “Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein stated at the News Conference: ‘There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.'”
Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein stated at the News Conference: “There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2018
Rosenstein is not the only key figure in the Russia probe that the president has considered firing, though. Per a Times story that was released tonight, the president tried to fire Mueller late last year.
After dealing with the numerous subpoenas handed down by the special counsel, Trump told officials that Mueller’s investigation had to be stopped. In the president’s view, Mueller had crossed a “red line” by issuing the subpoenas, as well as investigating his business ties to Deutsche Bank.
The Times report marks the second time Trump has reportedly considered firing Mueller, with the other such example taking place last June.
[images via screengrab]
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