Report: Rosenstein Appears To Deny That He Threatened To Resign Over False Account Regarding His Comey Memorandum [UPDATED]

Rod_Rosenstein_US_AttorneyDeputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who wrote the memorandum firing James Comey  is back in the news today.  Various news organizations are reporting that he allegedly threatened to quit after the White House represented that Comey was fired based on his recommendation.  Both the Washington Post and ABC News are reporting that Rosenstein was sufficiently outraged by the White House statements that he was prepared to walk.  The reporting is highly disturbing on a number of levels.  The White House made a notable change in its account of the decision yesterday — admitting that Trump decided that he wanted Comey gone over a week earlier.  Of course, this does not change the fact that Rosenstein recommended the firing of Comey in the memo but it raises serious questions of the veracity of the White House. UPDATE: The White House is categorically denying that Rosenstein threatened to resign.  More importantly, Rosenstein has denied that he threatened to resign though it is not clear if he denied calling the White House to object to its portrayal of the facts leading to the termination.

I have been critical of the coverage of the decision including the statements of experts at CNN and other outlets saying that Comey had to be fired because the investigation was getting too close to Trump and that the Rosenstein memo was “a lie.”  I still do not believe that those hyperbolic accounts are justified.  There has been no serious allegation of a crime in the Russian controversy beyond the reporting/registration violations of people like former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.  However, if these reports are accurate, the White House fundamentally misrepresented the key facts leading to this decision.  As I have said since the firing, I believe that the removal of Comey makes the case for an appointment of a Special Counsel (something I previously questioned as warranted). The reason is the loss of credibility of this Administration for millions of citizens.  This report will only deepen that crisis.

On  Good Morning America, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, said she was not aware of any threat by Rosenstein to resign. However, various sites are relying on inside sources that say that Rosenstein was sufficiently irate to threaten a resignation only two weeks after his confirmation.

The question raised by the reports is whether the memo did indeed reflect the view of Rosenstein that Comey deserved to be fired as opposed to stating the basis for such a firing (if the President wanted to use his authority to do so).

However, Rosenstein was asked by a Sinclair Broadcast Group reporter if he made such a threat. Rosenstein responded, “No, I’m not quitting.”  That would seem a denial of the allegation though it was a tad ambiguous.  The question was not whether he was quitting but threatened to do so.  However, the White House has also denied the story.

The  New York Times seemed to suggest that the memo was demanded rather than volunteered.  The editors wrote “In ordering you to write the memo exploited the integrity you have earned over nearly three decades in public service, spending down your credibility as selfishly as he has spent other people’s money throughout his business career.” That is a very serious allegation. It suggests that the memo was not Rosenstein’s idea or possibly his preference.  That could open up a legitimate area for congressional inquiry.

The reported facts suggest that the President wanted to fire Comey and raised the issue with Sessions and Rosenstein.  Reports also indicate that Trump was irate over the Russian investigation and his view that Comey was not supportive in addressing rumors and allegations.  If Rosenstein agreed that Comey should be fired, the substantive basis for the decision would still track his memorandum.  Rosenstein presumably would have resigned if the termination did not coincide with his own views of the merits on the question.

In his memo, Rosenstein spoke in the first person and was unambiguous in his recommendation:

We should reject the departure and return to the traditions.

Although the President has the power to remove an FBI director, the decision should not be taken lightly. I agree with the nearly unanimous opinions of former Department officials. The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.

96 thoughts on “Report: Rosenstein Appears To Deny That He Threatened To Resign Over False Account Regarding His Comey Memorandum [UPDATED]”

  1. Although we know the president has a “runaway” mouth, the media goes just as far in the other direction. The trouble in taking his tweets and other “casual” asides literally – and this applies to “the Russians should hack Hillary” too – is that Trump uses anything he hears, from any source, to attack his enemies. We know that. So we can’t know if he’s accidentally revealing a secret that only a conspirator could know, or he’s only repeating one of the thousands of rumors that have been floating around since long before the election.

  2. Most people are stupid and accept any garbage that is fed to them by “the media” as the truth. That’s the “truth.”

    1. You call Fox News fake news AS IF all the others are “real” news? Get a grip and stop drinking the Obama Kool Aid.

  3. This is easy. When trump opens his mouth he is lies. when he wakes up…..he lies. When he goes to bed…..trump lies. most anytime in between…….trump lies. trump knows little else but how to lie.

    Am shocked our host now finds “the reporting disturbing…….” when all he had to do was examine most every comment made by traitor trump. But of course, he only found the reporting disturbing…..not trump’s lies. sad! pathetic! tweet! tweet! tweet!

    1. Given the lack of proof, facts, sources etc. just the same old stupid canned regurgitated idiotic nonsene this false post is REJECTED/.

      1. Rejecting the truth is the cornerstone of today’s conservative movement. Whether it be on health care, china currency manipulation, Mexico paying for the wall (c’mon! how could anyone have been stupid enough to believe that), etc…….. trump has lied.

        As for his personally profiting off the presidency (blind trust? another lie) he likely should be impeached….and jailed.

  4. There is a story out of Ecuador. Five adults and three teenagers, all of whom had been abused by a pedophile priest, captured the priest. They took him to the opening of an active volcano on a handbasket. They amputated his genitles and made him swallow. Then sent him to hell in the handbasket. There are photos. It is supposed to be on the internet. I heard about it in Church.

  5. Rothstein didn’t say “fire Comey” but he did say that the FBI needed restoration and that Comey was unfit to do so because he did not even admit his errors.
    Anyone reading the memo would conclude that if you wanted to fix the FBI, Comey had to be removed.

    1. If the government needed to be rid of people who won’t admit their errors, wouldn’t it make sense to start in the White House?

          1. They Republicans and Democrats function like rivaling drug cartels. And the voters function like their addicts, not really concerned about anything more than getting their fix.

      1. No, that was last year. But it would make sense to those who violate their oath of citixzenship and their oath of office and for that you start with the group who openly seek to replace Our Representative Constitutional Republic with the foreign ideology of the extremist far left.

    2. ti317’s right. Rosenstein is the name of the deputy attorney general that wrote the letter on Comey. Rothstein is the guy that fixed the 1919 World Series.

  6. Why would anyone want to launder money. I put three five dollar bills into the washer today and then dried them in the dryer. They are cleaner but will not buy me any more goods or services.
    They also talk about Russian interference in our election. Who, what, where, why, when? Those are the elements of journalism. None of the elements have been asked or answered by any media outlet.
    Comey is said to have been found out to be a pedophile. Is there any truth to that one?

    1. Among other things, there is concern that the DNC hacking and WikiLeaks disclosures were instigated by Russian interests.

      It would be helpful to my outlook on all this, if we knew whether or not Trump or Trump interests had received any payments or loans or financing from Russian interests. If Russian interests helped fund Trump developments around the world, it is not at all implausible that Russia would want to protect their investments. It is not at all implausible that Russia would like to see the US face substantial internal disintegration, and a withdrawal from European involvement.

      Comey a pedophile? Based on what? Maybe he is an Elbonian or a Martian or someone from the 17th dimension, while we’re at it.

      1. “it is not at all implausible that Russia would want to protect their investments.”

        Duh, it would be reasonable and rational that they would want to protect their interests.

        “It is not at all implausible that Russia would like to see the US face substantial internal disintegration, and a withdrawal from European involvement.”

        Again duh. Those sneaky Russians, forcing the DNC to push Clinton to the nomination, forcing Clinton Foundation to run a pay-for-play scheme, forcing Podesta to expose a traunch of emails that would sink the party and then influencing an election by making sure the electorate was actually informed. God forbid that last one. Horrible, just horrible. All the while mind you that exposure was running against the grain of the MSM and their takedown of the GOP candidate.

        As for internal disintegration; which party is trying to undermine this administration by sowing the seeds of unrest throughout the country? Shall we look for those foreign connections?

      2. Accusations are easy, the facts seem to be a little more difficult for the probs to produce.

  7. You’d almost think that Trump is a my-way-or-the-highway kind of guy …..

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