Trump's unsent letter to Comey is now in Mueller's hands

Trevor Jackson
September 2, 2017

Special Counsel Robert Mueller now has access to a letter drafted by President Donald Trump and a top political aide detailing the rationale behind firing former FBI Director James Comey, the New York Times reported Friday. Mueller presumably will now consider the letter in his ongoing investigation, by which his team will determine if it amounts to obstruction of justice.

"The contents of the original letter appear to provide the clearest rationale that Mr. Trump had for firing Mr. Comey", The Times reports. The letter predates the memo written by Deputy Attorney Gen. Rod Rosenstein, which was - for a time - the official justification for Comey's firing.

The Times report doesn't say what was in the letter, which was originally meant to be sent directly to Comey, according to the Times. A statement from the Justice Department said the department had been fully cooperative with Mueller's investigation and would continue to do so.

Trump undercut that explanation soon afterward by telling an NBC anchor-and, reportedly, visiting Russian diplomats-that he fired Comey to relieve pressure the federal investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election was putting on him. Comey's firing led to the appointment of Mueller as a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation. White House counsel Donald McGahn reportedly warned the president that draft was problematic and advised him to dismiss Comedy with an amended version, according to several administration officials who requested anonymity.

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The Associated Press has not reviewed the letter.

At the time Comey was sacked, he was leading an investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election and possible Trump campaign collusion with Moscow aimed at helping Trump win. The eventual letter released explaining Comey's dismissal contained those claims. He said he did not intend for his memo to be a "statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination", and said it was "not a survey of Federal Bureau of Investigation morale or performance".

Instead of using the directive Miller penned, a separate letter written by Rosenstein and focused on Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server was sent to the FBI director when he was dismissed.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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