Story finally confirms Rosenstein knew all along why Comey was being fired.
F.B.I. Official Wrote Secret Memo Fearing Trump Got a Cover Story for Comey Firing
WASHINGTON The former acting F.B.I. director, Andrew G. McCabe, wrote a confidential memo last spring recounting a conversation that offered significant behind-the-scenes details on the firing of Mr. McCabes predecessor, James B. Comey, according to several people familiar with the discussion.
Mr. Comeys firing is a central focus of the special counsels investigation into whether President Trump tried to obstruct the investigation into his campaigns ties to Russia. Mr. McCabe has turned over his memo to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
In the document, whose contents have not been previously reported, Mr. McCabe described a conversation at the Justice Department with the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, in the chaotic days last May after Mr. Comeys abrupt firing. Mr. Rosenstein played a key role in the dismissal, writing a memo that rebuked Mr. Comey over his handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton.
But in the meeting at the Justice Department, Mr. Rosenstein added a new detail: He said the president had originally asked him to reference Russia in his memo, the people familiar with the conversation said. Mr. Rosenstein did not elaborate on what Mr. Trump had wanted him to say.
In case people forgot:
So far I'm not agreeing with Matthew Miller's interpretation of this story. Hard to tell if it is important or just a side note.
Speaking of Rosenstein, it says he "added that it was never intended to 'justify a for-cause termination.'"
IOW, DT asked him to write a memo about what Comey had done to Hillary. Rosenstein wrote it, and stands by it -- but he didn't write it with the intention that DT would use it to justify firing Comey.
Why would DT ask him to write the memo? Because DT knew that Democrats were complaining about what Comey had done -- it was in the news media. So he thought he could use the memo to prove the Dems' point, and the Dems wouldn't mind that he then fired Comey.
I think we all know that. He had no intention of being used as cover while Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey in order to stop the Trussia investigation. On the other hand he knew if he refused a direct order from the President, he'd be fired in 3 seconds and replaced by a Trumpish toady.
So what would anybody do in that situation? Rosenstein tried to cause the least damage, but then it came back to bite him in the butt. It's a classic no-win situation.
They knew Comey was going to be fired, and someone must have reached out to Mueller -- because Mueller was ready to come to work within days of the firing, even before he had officially left his old law firm.
I don't have any back channel to the Department of Justice, I only know what I see on DU.
However it was remarkable the way Mueller assembled his team and started up the investigation so quickly and efficiently. In Comey's book he doesn't give any details on that, but he does make it clear that he had known and worked with Robert Mueller for many years. Also same with Rosenstein and Mueller. The only outsider was Sessions, and they couldn't tell him their plan anyway because of his recusal.