Sessions warned White House he could quit if Trump fired Rosenstein: report
Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned the White House recently that he could resign if President Trump were to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
The Washington Post reported Friday that Sessions told White House counsel Don McGahn in a phone call last weekend that he could leave the Justice Department in the event of Rosenstein’s ouster.
The phone call came amid a series of attacks on Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller by Trump, following the FBI raid of the home and office of his personal attorney Michael Cohen.
His attacks have led to speculation that Trump may fire Rosenstein or Mueller.
Rosenstein oversees the law enforcement investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mueller is carrying out that probe.
In the phone call with McGahn, Sessions also asked for details of a meeting between Trump and Rosenstein that took place on April 12, and was reportedly relieved when he was told that the encounter was cordial, according to the Post.
One person familiar with the phone call told the Post that Sessions did not intend to threaten his resignation, but simply wanted to express his concern that Rosenstein’s ouster would put him in a difficult position.
Trump’s anger with Rosenstein and Mueller flared last week after news of the raid on Cohen’s home and office emerged. That raid was carried out after federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained a search warrant based, in part, on a referral from Mueller.
But the president reportedly backed away from the idea of firing Rosenstein and Mueller after the deputy attorney general told him in the White House meeting that he was not a target of Mueller’s investigation. The details of that meeting were reported Thursday by Bloomberg News.
Trump has long bristled at the Russia investigation, insisting that there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow, and that the probe is a “witch hunt.”
Updated 7:17 p.m.