Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinHillicon Valley: New insider trading charges against ex-Equifax exec | 320M potentially exposed in new data breach | Adidas warns of potential hack | Amazon enters pharmacy market | California lawmakers pass privacy bill Five highlights from the tense Wray-Rosenstein hearing Dem lawmaker: GOP cares more about Clinton emails than gun violence MORE told peers that he was angry over how President TrumpDonald John TrumpCanadian prime minister commemorates victims of Maryland newspaper shooting Trump suggested to Macron that France should leave the EU: report Maryland newspaper writer in emotional interview: ‘We need more than prayers’ MORE used him to justify firing former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyOvernight Defense: House passes 5B defense spending bill | Pentagon moving forward on Trump military parade | Mattis vows ‘ironclad’ support for South Korea’s defense Rosenstein and Wray: We’re not angry nor are we Democrats Rosenstein unaware of ‘disqualifying’ conflict of interest for Mueller MORE last year, The New York Times reported Friday.
Rosenstein has repeatedly confided to colleagues that the scandal damaged his reputation, according to four people familiar with the issue.
Publicly, the top Justice Department official has repeatedly defended the letter he penned condemning Comey’s job performance. But, internally, Rosenstein appeared conflicted on the matter, The Times reported.
Sources told the Times that Rosenstein believed Trump had manipulated him and his letter, which criticized the FBI’s handling of the 2016 investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPapadopoulos sentencing set for September Overnight Defense: House passes 5B defense spending bill | Pentagon moving forward on Trump military parade | Mattis vows ‘ironclad’ support for South Korea’s defense Dem lawmaker: GOP cares more about Clinton emails than gun violence MORE’s use of a private email server, in order to rationalize Comey’s firing.
He reportedly appeared “shaken,” “unsteady,” and “overwhelmed,” in the weeks following Comey’s abrupt dismissal.
Rosenstein had been sworn in as deputy attorney general two weeks before Comey was ousted.
One person told The Times that Rosenstein sounded “frantic, nervous, upset and emotionally dis-regulated” around that time.
Andrew C. White, a former federal prosecutor who is close with Rosenstein, said his fury was justified.
“The White House put Greyhound tire tracks on his back,” White said. “They threw him under the bus.”
Sarah Isgur Flores, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, discredited claims that Rosenstein was upset.
If Rosenstein was angry, Flores said, it was because then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeFormer FBI agent: There is a ‘good old boys club’ in law enforcement agencies Former FBI agent on gender bias: Male supervisors think women agents are ‘weak’ Top House Dem claims Judiciary chairman’s DOJ, FBI subpoena is invalid MORE had hidden the existence of memos Comey wrote to himself about his interactions with Trump.
“To be clear, he was upset not because knowledge of the existence of the memos would have changed the DAG’s decision regarding Mr. Comey, but that Mr. McCabe chose not to tell him about their existence until only hours before someone shared them with The New York Times,” Flores said.
Rosenstein and FBI Director Christoper Wray faced the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday for a tense five-hour hearing amid rising tensions between the Justice Department and allies of President Trump on Capitol Hill.
The pair insisted that they are neither “angry” nor Democrats when they were questioned about their integrity.