The Justice Department has provided special counsel Robert Mueller with an early draft of a letter detailing President Trump’s rationale for firing former FBI Director James Comey, The New York Times reported Friday.
The May letter, written by Trump and adviser Stephen Miller, was ultimately blocked by White House counsel Don McGahn, who believed some of its contents were problematic.
Instead, a different letter written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was sent, pinning the dismissal on Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDem pushes to defund Trump’s voter fraud commission Trump Jr. getting 0k to speak at UNT Trump civil rights official listed Clinton attacks as qualification on resume: report MORE’s private email server.
Mueller is currently conducting a wide-ranging investigation into Russian interference in the presidential campaign, including whether the president obstructed justice by firing Comey, who was previously in charge of the probe.
It is unknown how much of the rationale in the original letter focused on the Russia investigation. Shortly after Comey’s May 9 dismissal, the president told NBC’s Lester Holt that the probe had been on his mind when he made the decision to fire the FBI director.