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Democrats warn Trump not to fire Rod Rosenstein after bombshell report

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Chuck Schumer Nancy Pelosi
Senate
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy
Pelosi.

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  • Democratic leadership is warning the president not to fire
    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein following a bombshell New
    York Times report on Friday.
  • According to The Times, Rosenstein discussed wearing a
    wire to secretly record the president and using
    the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. He denied
    the report.
  • “This story must not be used as a pretext for the corrupt
    purpose of firing Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein in order
    install an official who will allow the president to interfere
    with the Special Counsel’s investigation,” Senate Minority Leader
    Chuck Schumer said.

Democratic leadership is warning the president not to fire Deputy
Attorney General Rod Rosenstein following
a Friday New York Times
report that Rosenstein
had discussed wearing a wire to secretly record the
president and using the 25th Amendment to remove
him from office.

“This story must not be used as a pretext for the corrupt purpose
of firing Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein in order install an
official who will allow the president to interfere with the
Special Counsel’s investigation,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck
Schumer said on
Friday
, shortly after the story’s publication.

Immediately following the story’s publication, some of Trump’s favorite far-right
influencers
, including Fox News hosts Laura
Ingraham
 and Jeanine
Pirro,
 called for Rosenstein’s immediate firing. Other
Republicans, including lawmakers in Washington, urged caution and
discouraged the president from taking the report seriously.

“When it comes to President @realDonaldTrump….. BEWARE of
anything coming out of the @nytimes,” Republican Sen. Lindsey
Graham tweeted.

Trump has regularly targeted both Rosenstein and Attorney General
Jeff Sessions since the special counsel Robert Mueller was first
tapped last May to oversee the FBI’s investigation into possible
collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign,
as well as possible obstruction of justice committed by the
president when he fired FBI Director James Comey last year.

In justifying firing Comey, Trump cited a memo Rosenstein wrote
that criticized Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email
investigation — a move that reportedly made Rosenstein believe
Trump had “used” him.

Democrats have for months warned Trump against firing Rosenstein,
and have developed a
contingency plan
 to protect the Russia investigation
should the president do so, which would include calling for
obstruction of justice hearings and a special congressional
committee to replace the special counsel investigation.

Rosenstein first raised the question of the 25th amendment and
considered wearing a wire in the spring of 2017, The Times said,
citing sources in the Department of Justice and FBI who were
present in conversations with Rosenstein or were briefed on memos
that former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote about Rosenstein.

But the Washington Post later reported that
Rosenstein’s comment about wearing a wire was made sarcastically,
after McCabe pushed for the DOJ to investigate Trump.

Rosenstein issued a broad denial of the Times’ reporting, calling
the story “inaccurate and factually incorrect,” and said in a
statement to the Times that, based on his “personal dealings”
with the president, there is no basis to remove him from office.

Rosenstein also claimed that the anonymous sources cited in the
story are motivated by anti-DOJ sentiment and their own “personal
agenda.” 

Sonam Sheth and Grace Panetta contributed to this
report. 

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