Trump Stopped From Sending Comey Letter. Now Mueller Has It

Sources say letter gives reasons for Comey firing closer to the truth
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2017 2:45 PM CDT
Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about Russian meddling in the election and possible connection to the Trump campaign,...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – When President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the dismissal letter sent to Comey blamed his termination on Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation and recommendations from the attorney general and deputy attorney general. But the New York Times reports special counsel Robert Mueller is now in possession of the original letter Trump, along with Stephen Miller, wrote to explain Comey's firing but never sent on the advice of White House lawyer Donald McGahn. McGahn had worried the original letter could cause legal trouble for Trump down the line. Mueller was given that original letter by the Justice Department sometime in recent weeks.

People familiar with the letter says it is much closer to Trump's actual reasoning for the Comey firing. Sources tell the Washington Post that while the letter doesn't focus heavily on the Russia investigation, it does include Trump's complaint that Comey refused to publicly say Trump himself wasn't under investigation. The letter also makes it clear that Trump had decided to fire Comey days before getting recommendations to do so from Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein. Mueller acquiring the original letter shows the special counsel may be investigating whether Trump's firing of Comey was an attempt to obstruct the FBI's Russia investigation. (Read more Robert Mueller stories.)

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