In the book, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe writes that Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, did not want to write the memo and strongly resisted doing so.
McCabe, like Comey, was fired by Donald Trump after the president believed that he was not acting in a way that showed personal loyalty to him.
Rosenstein, while publicly defending the May 2017 memo, privately complained that Trump directed him to justify Comey’s dismissal in the memo.
Rosenstein made his remarks in a private meeting at the justice department, according to McCabe’s memoir, which also accuses Trump of operating like a criminal mob boss and of unleashing a “strain of insanity” in American public life.
McCabe wrote that Rosenstein appeared “glassy-eyed,” visibly upset and emotional during a May 12, 1017, meeting at the Justice Department. At the meeting Rosenstein complained that the president had ordered him to write an official memorandum which recommended and justified the firing of Comey, the highly respected FBI Director.
“He said it wasn’t his idea,” McCabe wrote in the book. “The president had ordered him to write the memo justifying the firing.”
Rosenstein told McCabe that the situation had left him unable to sleep at night and fearful for his safety and for his job.
“There’s no one here that I can trust,” Rosenstein said, according to McCabe
McCabe’s book, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, supports reports from last year that Rosenstein was left “shaken” by playing a role in Comey’s dismissal.
However the book also contradicts Rosenstein’s congressional testimony about the memo, which is sure to create additional controversy.
“I wrote it,” Rosenstein testified last year. “I believe it. I stand by it.”
In the memo, Rosenstein argued that Comey deserved to be fired over his handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Donald Trump and the White House communications office always denied that Trump told the deputy attorney general that he had write it.
The Comey firing was a watershed moment in Trump’s presidency since just five days afterwards, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Trump’s campaign ties to Russia.
And, to make the circle of irony complete, Mueller is now investigating Comey’s firing as possible obstruction of justice by the president, since the goal was to end any investigation into Trump’s Russia connections.
The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump covers McCabe’s 22-year career with the FBI, including his role in investigating the 2001 al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington and probing Russia‘s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
“I wrote this book because the president’s attacks on me symbolize his destructive effect on the country as a whole,” McCabe said in an interview. Then he added:
“Donald Trump is undermining America’s safety and security, and eroding public confidence in its institutions. His attacks on the most critical institutions of government, and on the professionals who serve within them, should make every American stand up and take notice.”
Last May we reported that McCabe had written a memo about the Comey firing and turned it over to Special Counsel Robert Mueller to use in his investigation of Trump’s obstruction of justice. McCabe’s memo, book and testimony may ultimately help convict Trump of committing criminal obstruction and send him to jail, which would be a fitting end to this drama.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.