A Momentous Week in May: Book Details Early Days of Russia Inquiry

A new book portrays Rod J. Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general, as anguished and isolated after James B. Comey was fired as the F.B.I. director in 2017.

Mr. Rosenstein, who also...

Mr. Rosenstein, who also briefed the congressional leaders, appointed Mr. Mueller as the special counsel the same day[1].

Before the president fired Mr. Comey, Mr. Rosenstein had written a memo[2] suggesting that Mr. Comey should be dismissed. But it quickly became clear to him that his arguments for terminating Mr. Comey were entirely different from the president’s.

Mr. Rosenstein had argued that Mr. Comey made critical errors in handling the F.B.I.’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was the secretary of state.

But when the White House tried to pressure Mr. Rosenstein to state publicly that firing Mr. Comey had been his idea, not the president’s — thus cloaking the president’s real motivation — Mr. Rosenstein refused, with Mr. Sessions’s backing. He said he would not be part of a “false story,” Mr. Stewart wrote. In a broadcast interview[3] two days after he fired Mr. Comey, Mr. Trump admitted that he acted because of “this Russia thing,” not Mr. Rosenstein’s memo.

According to the book, the sense that Mr. Trump had used him deeply unsettled Mr. Rosenstein, who had been in his post less than two weeks. Mr. Stewart described the May 12 meeting with Mr. McCabe in detail, saying that Mr. Rosenstein struggled to keep his emotions in check.

“His voice was wavering, his eyes teared up. He said he couldn’t believe what was happened,” according to Mr. Stewart’s account.

“There’s no one here I can talk to about this. There’s no one I can trust,” Mr. Rosenstein confided to Mr. McCabe, whom he knew only slightly.

He added, “The one person I wish I could talk to is Jim Comey.”


  1. ^ appointed Mr. Mueller as the special counsel the same day (
  2. ^ Mr. Rosenstein had written a memo (
  3. ^ In a broadcast interview (

Read more

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive