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Deputy AG Rosenstein offers to resign after comments to secretly wear wire and tape Trump revealed

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (Internet Education Foundation/Flickr)
September 24, 2018

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has reportedly given verbal notice that he would resign from his job, supposedly in anticipation of being fired by President Trump, after it was revealed last week that he allegedly discussed secretly wire-taping conversations with the President and possibly invoking the 25th Amendment.

Axios first reported Monday that Rosenstein “verbally resigned to Chief of Staff John Kelly in anticipation of being fired by President Trump, according to a source with direct knowledge.”

And, “per a second source with direct knowledge: ‘He’s expecting to be fired,’ so he plans to step down,” Axios reported.

The Washington Post also reported that Rosenstein is “willing to resign in the wake of revelations he once suggested secretly recording the President,” pointing out that it was “unclear if the resignation has been accepted.” The Post cited its sources as “people familiar with the matter,” adding that one Justice Department official said the deputy attorney general is readying to be fired.

Several news outlets, including the Associated Press and Fox News, have also reported that Rosenstein was heading to the White expecting to be fired.

News broke Friday that Rosenstein reportedly suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump, and he also allegedly discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove the President for being unfit, an explosive new report revealed.

The New York Times first broke the story, citing several anonymous sources who either had second-hand knowledge of the instances or were familiar with FBI memos about Rosenstein’s alleged comments. Rosenstein denied the accusations.

He allegedly made remarks about getting officials to invoke the 25th Amendment because Trump was unfit, and wearing wires to secretly record the President; he made such remarks in meetings and in conversations with FBI and Justice Department officials, the Times said. Rosenstein reportedly made these comments last spring, in 2017, shortly after he became deputy attorney general.

Rosenstein apparently went so far as to say he could get support from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and now-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who was at the time serving as Secretary of Homeland Security, to invoke the 25th Amendment, the Times said.

In a statement to the Times, Rosenstein disputed the accusations.

“The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect. 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,” he said in a statement to the Times, they reported.

The 25th Amendment details when a President has a disability that prevents him from serving – he is “unfit,” and it says that the Vice President then becomes President. If the President “dies, resigns or is removed from office,” the Vice President shall be the President. The amendment was adopted in 1967.

Around that time last year was when Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey. Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017.

After he fired Comey, the President later tweeted that there may be “tapes” of their conversations. Comey then asked a “close friend” to leak a memo to the media.

Comey asked Columbia law professor Daniel Richman to leak the memo with the hope it would trigger a special counsel appointment, he admitted during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017. The next day, Robert Mueller was named as Special Counsel of the Russia investigation.

Rosenstein was overseeing Mueller’s investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself last March.

The deputy attorney general took over the Russia investigation when Sessions recused himself, and he also appointed Mueller.

Rosenstein also wrote the memo that recommended Comey be fired.

It was also Rosenstein who gave the go-ahead to raid Michael Cohen’s office, who was Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant