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Posted September 1, 2017, 12:56 pm CDT
The U.S. Justice Department has reportedly turned over a copy of a draft letter written by President Donald Trump and an aide explaining why the president planned to fire FBI director James Comey.
Special counsel Robert Mueller received a copy of the letter in recent weeks, the New York Times reports in a story based on anonymous sources. The letter was never sent after White House Counsel Donald McGahn raised objections to some of its contents, according to the article.
The letter was drafted by Trump and one of his political advisers, Stephen Miller.
The New York Times did not have a copy of the letter and said it is unclear how much of Trump’s rationale focuses on the Russia investigation. The article notes that Trump had told aides around that time that he was angry because Comey had refused to announce that Trump was not under investigation.
The letter Trump finally sent to Comey said he appreciated that Comey informed him that he was not under investigation, but he concurred with the judgment of the Justice Department that he was not able to effectively lead the FBI, according to press coverage at the time. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had written a memo outlining the case against Comey that criticized his conduct in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, and that memo was given to Comey when he was fired.
Trump told NBC after firing Comey that the FBI director was “a showboat, he’s a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil.”
The New York Times contacted Ty Cobb, special counsel for the president, for comment. “To the extent the special prosecutor is interested in these matters, we will be fully transparent with him,” Cobb told the Times.
ABAJournal.com: “Trump’s lawyers argue in memos to Mueller that firing Comey wasn’t obstruction, sources say”
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