President Donald Trump will go on a Twitter tirade in 3…2…1…

The New York Times reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosensetin, the man who hired Special Counsel Robert Mueller, offered to wear a wire to tape Trump and rally “cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.”

He suggested that he could bring Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then-DHS Secretary John Kelly to his side. Kelly now serves as Trump’s chief of staff.

James Comey’s Firing

When did all of this supposedly begin? May 2016. Rosenstein and Sessions joined Trump in the Oval Office and the president suggested firing Comey. Everyone in the room tried to talk Trump out of it…except Rosenstein. He offered “to write the memo about the Clinton email inquiry” and gave it to Trump “shortly after.”

The day after that, Trump fired Trump and his aides released the memo and described it as “the basis for Mr. Comey’s dismissal.”

That led to intense criticism from Democrats and others, which angered Rosenstein:

The president’s reliance on his memo caught Mr. Rosenstein by surprise, and he became angry at Mr. Trump, according to people who spoke to Mr. Rosenstein at the time. He grew concerned that his reputation had suffered harm and wondered whether Mr. Trump had motives beyond Mr. Comey’s treatment of Mrs. Clinton for ousting him, the people said.

A determined Mr. Rosenstein began telling associates that he would ultimately be “vindicated” for his role in the matter. One week after the firing, Mr. Rosenstein met with Mr. McCabe and at least four other senior Justice Department officials, in part to explain his role in the situation.

During their discussion, Mr. Rosenstein expressed frustration at how Mr. Trump had conducted the search for a new F.B.I. director, saying the president was failing to take the candidate interviews seriously. A handful of politicians and law enforcement officials, including Mr. McCabe, were under consideration.

To Mr. Rosenstein, the hiring process was emblematic of broader dysfunction stemming from the White House. He said both the process and the administration itself were in disarray, according to two people familiar with the discussion.

That’s when Rosenstein brought up the idea of wearing a wire. A person in the meeting asked him if he was serious “and he replied animatedly that he was.” Plus, he said that if he didn’t do it, he suggested McCabe or other FBI officials wear the wire. He also said that no one checked his phone during meetings with Trump, “implying it would be easy to secretly record” the president.

None of this happened, but officials told The New York Times that these comments are “an example of how erratically he was behaving while he was taking part in the interviews for a replacement F.B.I. director, considering the appointment of a special counsel and otherwise running the day-to-day operations of the more than 100,000 people at the Justice Department.”

McCabe’s lawyer responded:

The New York Times wrote that the memos suggested that Mr. Rosenstein had regrets about the firing of Mr. Comey. McCabe wrote in one that the deputy “was upset and emotional” and “said that he wished Mr. Comey were still at the F.B.I. so he could bounce ideas off him.”

Denials and Maybe Bait to Fire Rosenstein?

Rosenstein has denied the accounts given to The New York Times:

“The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect,” he said in a statement. “I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman also provided a statement from a person who was present when Mr. Rosenstein proposed wearing a wire. The person, who would not be named, acknowledged the remark but said Mr. Rosenstein made it sarcastically.

So will Trump use this as an excuse to fire Rosenstein? Probably, even though The New York Times used anonymous sources. We all know he cannot stand the way the DOJ has handled the Russia probe, often venting frustrations publicly about Sessions and Rosenstein.

Still, it doesn’t seem to add up and I’m not the only who thinks this is bait to get Trump to fire Rosenstein.


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