New Report Raises More Questions About FBI Director James Comey's Firing

Julie Hirschfeld Davis:

Well, what we’re learning is more about what the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, is looking at as he tries to figure out whether there is a case for obstruction of justice.

And one of the key things that my colleague Mike Schmidt and the rest of us learned in the course of reporting the story was that the president — we had known before that the president was very upset that the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, recused himself from the Russia investigation.

What we have found out now is he actually dispatched the White House counsel, Don McGahn, who is the top lawyer at the White House, to essentially lobby Jeff Sessions not to do that. He had been considering it. He sent McGahn to try to talk him out of it. And when that failed, Trump really erupted in rage and said he wanted a protector just like previous presidents.

He felt that he wasn’t being personally protected in the way that he wanted to be. And he said, “Where is my Roy Cohn?” of course referring to his former personal lawyer, who was also the top aide many decades ago to Senator Joe McCarthy when he was doing the anti-communism hearings.

So we learned about that and the degree, the lengths to which the president to try to keep Sessions in control of this investigation. We also learned about the sort of way that White House lawyers were trying to manage this idea that they knew the president had to fire the FBI director.

One of the lawyers in the White House Counsel’s Office knew that he wanted to do this, that he was considering it, and had told the president that he needed a reason if he wanted to fire the FBI director. He subsequently researched that and found out it wasn’t in fact the case, but he deliberately kept that information from President Trump because he was afraid that he would act on it and go ahead and fire Jim Comey, which, of course, he did.

We’re also learning more about the justification that the president sort of and his top aides were trying to put in place for getting rid of Comey. We know that Jeff Sessions apparently dispatched an aide to go to Capitol Hill and see if there was any dirt they could dig up on Comey, ostensibly, I would assume, in an effort to discredit him before letting him go.

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