Schumer reacts to NY Times story on Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested a year ago that he covertly record the president in the White House and discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, The New York Times reported Friday.

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 USA election and potential coordination between Moscow and the Trump campaign. "But Mr. Rosenstein was caught off guard when Mr. Trump cited the memo in the firing, and he began telling people that he feared he had been used".

One former senior Justice Department official who was in the room when Rosenstein made the remark about recording the president was made tells CBS News, "I remember this meeting and remember the wire comment". Mr. Rosenstein appeared conflicted, regretful and emotional, according to people who spoke with him at the time.

Another source disputed that.

Rosenstein also reportedly suggested invoking the 25th Amendment, which allows the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to remove the president from office if they think he's unfit. The newspaper said its sources also included people who were briefed on memos written by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Shortly after the Times' story was published, ABC News confirmed the report with their own sources who were familiar with the memos.

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Rosenstein issued a rare statement himself forcefully denying the Times report. Sitting in on Mr. Trump's interviews with prospective F.B.I. directors and facing attacks for his own role in Mr. Comey's firing, Mr. Rosenstein had an up-close view of the tumult.

Rosenstein then raised the idea of wearing a recording device or "wire", as he put it, to secretly tape the President when he visited the White House.

"Mr. Rosenstein, give Congress the McCabe memos that we asked for in July and all the other documents we've requested so we can all judge for ourselves", tweeted Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the found of the caucus.

"Spent very little time with Andrew McCabe, but he never took notes when he was with me", Trump tweeted.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in March over accusations that he had approved other FBI officials speaking with the media about an ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation and had misled investigators about his actions. 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. But they called Rosenstein's comments an example of how erratically he was behaving while he was taking part in the interviews for a replacement Federal Bureau of Investigation 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. But let me clear about this: "Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25 Amendment". Other sources tell the Times he was serious.

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