The latest report from journalist Murray Waas in the New York Review of Books offers damning new details about a letter that President Donald Trump drafted that explicitly linked the firing of former FBI Director James Comey to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Waas, who claims that he has personally examined the draft, reports that the original draft of Trump’s letter justifying Comey’s dismissal made it plain that he was displeased with the FBI for investigating whether the Trump campaign helped Russia interfere in the election.
Specifically, Trump made reference to “the fabricated and politically-motivated allegations of a Trump-Russia relationship with respect to the 2016 Presidential Election” in his letter — although this line was later deleted at the urging of officials at the Department of Justice, including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
In fact, Waas writes that Rosenstein agreed to write a cover story for the president that cited Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe as a justification for his termination.
“At the time he did so, Rosenstein fully understood that the president’s primary reason for firing Comey was related to the Russia investigation,” Waas writes. “He also knew from the draft that the president wanted McCabe removed as well.”