Deputy AG Rosenstein Stands By His Memo

Deputy AG Rosenstein Stands By His Memo
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein arrives for a closed briefing for members of the House of Representatives to discuss the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was on Capitol Hill Thursday and Friday testifying at two closed door meetings. He told lawmakers that he stands by his memo outlining his reasons for concerns regarding former FBI Director James Comey actions.

"It is a candid memorandum about the FBI Director's public statements concerning a high-profile criminal investigation," Rosenstein said according to a released copy of his opening statement. "I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it." 

The memo caused a firestorm among members of Congress when the White House used it for the justification in dismissing Comey. President Donald Trump later said he planned to fire Comey anyway.  According to The Hill, Rosenstein also told lawmakers the memo "is not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination." 

"My memorandum is not a finding of official misconduct,” Rosenstein said, “the inspector general will render his judgement about the issue in due course."

While Rosenstein’s memo deals with Comey’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, he did not directly call for the director’s dismissal. And he says Pres. Trump asked for his advice on May 8th about Comey’s removal.

“Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader.” Rosenstein told lawmakers.

Some Democratic lawmakers said after the meeting they were unhappy Rosenstein did not make clear whether he was directed to write the memo.

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