The New York Times reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein considered privately whether to secretly record conversations with President Donald Trump as a way to potentially remove him from office.
According to the Times, Rosenstein was unhappy about being "used" by Trump in the firing of Comey, as well as concerned about other turmoil in the White House under the new president.
Rosenstein denied the report in broad terms.
"This story must not be used as a pretext for the corrupt goal of firing Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein in order (to) install an official who will allow the president to interfere with the Special Counsel's investigation", Schumer said. "Prior to this, I was one of the people telling Trump he should not be removed..." "You've got some real bad ones - you see what's happened at the Federal Bureau of Investigation".
"There's a lingering stench and we're going to get rid of that too", Trump finished. One of the career civil servants was Scott Schools, who would later go on to sign off on the firing of McCabe, the official said. "Anyone who has spent two minutes Googling the 25th Amendment knows that it's a near impossible task, and Rod Rosenstein is not the kind of person to throw out harebrained schemes to people that he's only recently been working with", Rosenstein's former colleague added.
Rosenstein was under tremendous pressure from Congress to show that both he and the entire Justice Department had not caved to political pressure from the White House.
President Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. McCabe's written account from that day also says Rosenstein raised the possibility of an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment, while Page's accounts of the same discussion do not mention that, the person said.
Mr Rosenstein has been a frequent punching bag for Trump supporters for appointing Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017 to take over a federal probe of suspected Russian meddling in the United States election and potential coordination between Moscow and the Trump campaign. Perhaps worse, however, is how misleadingly the Times presented the story, creating a narrative that doesn't necessarily match up with what the sources said. The White House also released a memo from Rosenstein criticizing Comey for how he ran the Clinton probe. "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".
There's nearly no doubt the Times report will spark new controversy and a powerful pushback from Trump's White House. He also allegedly tried to gather support in the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment in order to remove the President for being unfit to perform his duties.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the Times story "must not be used as a pretext for the corrupt goal of firing Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein in order install an official who will allow the president to interfere with the special counsel's investigation". Others are certain Rosenstein will be fired as a result.
Pending Donald Trump's response to the article. "I think it opens the door for a possible firing of Rosenstein", Bolling said.