Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have saved his deputy by threatening to quit himself.
President Trump had Deputy AG Rod. J. Rosenstein in his crosshairs last week after the FBI raided the office, home and hotel room of Trump’s longtime personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen.
The president reportedly blamed Rosenstein, who oversees the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and named former FBI Director Robert Mueller the probe’s special counsel, for OK’ing the Cohen raid.
Sessions told White House counsel Donald McGahn that Rosenstein’s firing could trigger his own exit during a call to the White House last weekend, the Washington Post reported Saturday.
The resignation of the attorney general could create a significant political crisis for the president.
Sessions asked McGahn for details of an April 12 meeting between Trump and Rosenstein, The Washington Post reported, citing “a person with knowledge of the call.” Sessions was reportedly relieved to learn the meeting was “largely cordial,” and said he would have had to consider resigning if the Justice Department’s No. 2 official was canned.
Rosenstein’s status remains uncertain. He will likely face a new challenge in coming weeks, as former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani takes over as Trump’s attorney tasked with negotiating a swift end to the Mueller probe.
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