U.S. late night political satirist Bill Maher jumped on the New York Times Friday revelation that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had been pushing a plan to take U.S. President Donald Trump in a plot to try and remove him from office.
Rosenstein says the story is "inaccurate and factually incorrect".
Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian Federation election meddling, had been expecting to be fired Monday following after critical comments he made about Trump.
When Jordan quoted a Fox News report alleging that Rosenstein had threatened to subpoena phone records from staff on the House Intelligence Committee, Rosenstein shot back tell him not to rely "on what the press said" and to inform him snarkily that there was "no way to subpoena phone calls". Mr. Rosenstein reportedly made the "wire" remark during a meeting with then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who took over after Mr. Trump dismissed Director James B. Comey and who thoroughly documented meetings with Mr. Rosenstein and other officials.
On Friday, The New York Times published a bombshell report alleging Rosenstein raised the prospect during a meeting with multiple Federal Bureau of Investigation officials of taping President Trump without his knowledge "to expose the chaos consuming the administration". Some of Trump's fiercest congressional allies had already floated trying to impeach the deputy attorney general.
Trump has faced mounting pressure from the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election.
The removal of Rosenstein from the office of Deputy Attorney General puts Mueller's investigation in danger, as Trump will nominate Rosenstein's replacement. Trump and his supporters argue the Justice Department has run amok with "bias" and abuse of power, which they say includes inappropriate snooping on Trump's campaign in 2016. Put it on President Trump's desk and force him to veto it.
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Trump on Monday characterised the agreement with South Korea as "a brand new agreement" rather than an incremental change. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho has been invited by Pompeo for talks on the sidelines of the assembly meeting.
Rosenstein was one of two Justice Department officials who continued to request that surveillance even after Trump's inauguration, which suggested that it was yielding valid foreign intelligence.
Rosenstein also claimed that the anonymous sources cited in the story were motivated by anti-DOJ sentiment and their "personal agenda".
Senior Republicans are advising President Trump to go slow on making a decision about firing Rosenstein.
In fairness to MSNBC, a story about the job status of the deputy attorney general lacks an obvious visual display. I don't want to comment on it until I've got all the facts.
You can read Paste's first report here that recaps how this all began and largely reflects the early reporting today coming out of the White House.
Rosenstein is the official who started the special counsel investigation into Russian contacts with Donald Trump's team after Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from the matter. But let me be clear about this: "Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment".
Rosenstein is the top Justice Department official overseeing the Trump-Russia investigation. "Nothing like a Constitutional crisis to distract from a Supreme Court Confirmation crisis", he tweeted.