Trump letter on why he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation chief

Trump letter on why he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation chief

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has obtained a letter drafted by President Trump and a top political aide that offered an unvarnished view of Mr. Trump's thinking in the days before the president fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey.

After Comey's shocking ouster earlier this year, DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI boss Robert Mueller as the special counsel to oversee the FBI's Russian Federation investigation. Miller has become a trusted adviser to the president since the campaign and has helped Trump draft his hardline immigration and travel ban policies. Attaching letters he had received from Sessions and Rosenstein, Trump wrote, "I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately".

According to reports, Mueller has obtained a letter that Trump drafted along with his top political advisers, Stephen Miller, in which he explains his rationale for firing the Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

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The original letter, recently given to Mueller by the Justice Department, clearly describes the rationale behind Comey's dismissal.

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The contents of the letter have not been leaked to the Times, but numerous sources who have spoken to the Times on the condition of anonymity have stated the contents included the President's own rationale as to why he really fired Comey.

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When Comey's firing was announced, the White House instead released Rosenstein's memo, which sharply criticised Comey's handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.

In recent weeks, the Justice Department is said to have turned over a copy of the letter to Mueller. The White House has said Trump was acting on the Justice Department's recommendation when he fired Comey, though the president said in a television interview days later that he was thinking of "the Russian Federation thing" when he made the move and had planned to fire "regardless of recommendation". Shortly after that hearing, Mr. Rosenstein expressed his concerns about Mr. Comey to a White House lawyer, who relayed details of the conversation to his bosses at the White House.

However, Trump and his White House were quick to clarify that the President was not headed in that direction.

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"You've told me three times I'm not under investigation but you won't tell the world, and it's hampering the country", the official reportedly paraphrased Trump saying in the letter.

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