One puzzle that deepens with Mike Schmidt’s New York Times story on “Trump’s Struggle to Keep [a] Grip on [the] Russia Investigation” is why Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has not recused himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation. On Lawfare’s special edition podcast Thursday, Susan Hennessey briefly raised the issue, but the puzzle is worth unpacking a bit more.
Latest in FBI Director James Comey
This morning, the president tweeted:
Wow, looks like James Comey exonerated Hillary Clinton long before the investigation was over...and so much more. A rigged system!
On our Foreign Policy feed, we explain how newly released employee survey data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation disproves the president's claim that former FBI Director James Comey had lost the confidence of the rank-and-file. The article begins:
Following the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the White House claimed that it wasn’t only the president who had lost confidence in Comey but the rank and file of the FBI as well.
Andrew Kent argues that in light of President Trump’s attempts to influence the FBI investigation into his campaign’s Russia connections, and his firing of James Comey, Congress should consider giving the director of the FBI greater independence by making him removable only for cause—and with any removal potentially subject to judicial review.
In Sharing Memos, Comey Did Nothing Wrong as a Former Official and Everything Right as a Whistleblower
The world has waited for Donald Trump’s response to yesterday’s stunning testimony from former FBI Director James Comey. Trump’s uncharacteristic restraint in holding back from tweeting yesterday apparently didn’t last long. This morning he wrote:
Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!
Former FBI Director James Comey testified for a little under three hours this morning in an open session before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Considering the detailed revelations included in his written statement released by the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday in the lead-up to today’s testimony, how much new information did today’s hearing really add?
A few weeks ago, I gave an interview to the PBS NewsHour in which I was asked for the basis of my earlier claim that former FBI Director James Comey regarded President Trump and his coterie as dishonorable. I responded: “It was written on every line in his face. It was evident in the disapproving tone he took when he described them.”
Former FBI Director James Comey testifies this morning for the first time since his dismissal before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a highly anticipated hearing. Comey's opening statement, released yesterday, is available here.
Video is available below. Lawfare will be liveblogging the hearing; you can follow along below.
Yesterday, President Trump announced on Twitter that he plans to nominate Christopher Wray as the new Director of the FBI. The FBI is currently being led by Acting Director Andrew McCabe, whom the New York Times reported was considered for the post. The Senate must confirm Wray before he can assume the directorship.
It is hazardous to do too much reading between the lines of former FBI Director James Comey’s written statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee, released today in advance of his testimony tomorrow. He made some clear choices, the most important of which was to stick to an account of his specific interactions with president.