Could This Be Trump's True Motivation for Releasing the Nunes Memo?

Lawrence Kim
February 3, 2018

Rosenstein is in charge of overseeing the investigation because his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, recused himself because he met with Russian officials while supporting Trump during the campaign.

Trump had a short window to allow the release of the previously classified memo after the House intelligence panel voted along party lines to release it on Monday.

Nunes says he hopes the release "will shine a light on this alarming series of events" and spur "reforms that allow the American people to have full faith and confidence in their governing institutions". However, it was not clear what Trump meant by his questions or how Rosenstein interpreted them. He wrote the memo severely criticizing then-FBI Director James Comey.

Trump, when asked Friday if he was thinking about firing Rosenstein, cryptically told reporters: "You figure that one out". But in their efforts to discredit the inquiry, Republicans could potentially use Mr. Rosenstein's decision to approve the renewal to suggest that he failed to properly vet a highly sensitive application for a warrant to spy on Mr. Page, who served as a Trump foreign policy adviser until September 2016.

The criticism stems from a newly declassified GOP memo alleging the FBI abused surveillance powers in its investigation into possible cooperation between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

The memo, written by Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the unverified dossier was used as justification for obtaining high-level surveillance on Trump campaign aides.

Trump has expressed suspicion of Rosenstein before.

"If Trump fires Rosenstein, there will be a strong reaction since the reasonable assumption will be that the president is trying to limit or even fire Mueller", said Larry Sabato, a political science professor at the University of Virginia.

Sessions was preparing to speak at a Justice Department event when Rosenstein and associate attorney general Rachel Brand after she had introduced Sessions to the audience. It's unclear what role Wray played in all this, but we know that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein both went to the White House on Monday.

"The President understands that the protection of our national security represents his highest obligation", White House counsel Don McGahn wrote in the letter, which was dated Friday.

"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!" "If the Majority remains intent on releasing its document to the public, despite repeated warnings from DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it must hold a new vote to release to the public its modified document".

The attorneys acknowledged that there is a question whether a sitting president can be indicted, but that Mueller's team is willing to let the courts settle that issue while Congress wrestles with what to do with the embattled president.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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