Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote a secret memo last spring in which he recounts a conversation at the Justice Department which offers insight into the circumstances leading up to the firing of then-director James Comey.
According to an unnamed source, the document has been turned over to special counsel Robert Mueller, whose team is looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian actors during the 2016 presidential campaign, as well as into Trump’s decision to dismiss Comey as a potential attempt to obstruct the probe.
The memo reportedly recalls a conversation McCabe had with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about his preparation for Comey’s firing. Rosenstein, who wrote a memo rebuking Comey for how he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation, had a significant role in Comey’s undoing.
McCabe’s memo says that during that conversation, Rosenstein reportedly told the former FBI deputy director that he was initially asked to reference the Russia investigation in the memo about Comey. However, the final version of the memo focused on the Clinton email case instead, which the White House used to justify the firing.
To McCabe, that seemed like possible proof that Comey’s dismissal was in fact related to the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and that by writing about the Clinton case Rosenstein helped provide a cover story.
Mueller was appointed by Rosenstein only weeks after Comey was fired, which puts the deputy attorney general in a conflicting position considering he is the one supervising the special counsel’s investigation. However, The New York Times writes that a number of current and former law enforcement officials are suspicious of some of Rosenstein’s other actions, such as allowing some of the President’s congressional allies to view crucial documents from the probe.
President Donald Trump criticized the documents back in March, saying that he had never seen McCabe take notes during their conversations and indicating that the memos should be called “fake memos.”