Mueller reportedly has draft Trump letter explaining Comey firing

02 September, 2017, 00:16 | Author: Brenda Erickson

Special Counsel Robert Mueller now has access to a letter drafted by President Donald Trump and a top political aide detailing the rationale behind firing former FBI Director James Comey, the New York Times reported Friday.

Trump's lawyers insisted the president has the constitutional right to fire the Federal Bureau of Investigation director for any reason and that Mueller was an admitted leaker, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The latter, written in May was however met with huge opposition from the White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II, who believed that some of its contents were problematic, sources revealed. The Times story does not indicate how Mueller obtained the letter, but given the sensitivity of the fire Comey effort, someone from inside the White House had to have given the draft to the Special Counsel.

McGahn eventually persuaded the president from sending the letter to Comey, who was sacked on May 9.

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McGahn was successful in blocking the letter, and the administration instead used one that was written by deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, which blamed the Comey firing on his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

"The multi-page letter enumerated Trump's long-simmering complaints with Comey, according to people familiar with it, including Trump's frustration that Comey was unwilling to say publicly that Trump was not personally under investigation in the FBI's inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election", The Washington Post reports. 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. I director had handled the Clinton investigation.

The Justice Department turned over a copy of the letter to Mr. Mueller in recent weeks.

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