McCabe, Rosenstein opened obstruction probe after Trump fired Comey, before Mueller was hired: report

Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeAndrew McCabe's settlement with the Department of Justice is a signal to John Durham Trump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE opened an obstruction of justice investigation into President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE before special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's appointment, CNN reported Friday

McCabe took the step to launch the investigation into the president after Trump fired his predecessor, former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump defends indicted GOP congressman Andrew McCabe's settlement with the Department of Justice is a signal to John Durham Giuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign MORE, in May 2017, two sources told the cable news outlet.

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The FBI’s justification for the probe reportedly included Trump’s reported conversation with Comey in the Oval Office where he asked for an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn to be dropped. 

The Washington Post first reported last year the launch of an obstruction investigation, but sources elaborated to CNN how top law enforcement officials were frantic after Comey was fired.

They were reportedly concerned about Trump’s behavior and considered him a leader who might need to be reined in, sources told CNN.

Officials reportedly tossed around various ideas about how to handle the investigation, including a discussion about Rosenstein wearing a wire to talk to Trump, a report which Rosenstein later denied.

A source within the Justice Department rejected the notion that Rosenstein tried to curb Trump, telling CNN that he "never said anything like that."

A spokeswoman for McCabe did not prove a comment to the network.

McCabe and Rosenstein, on the day that the special counsel was appointed, briefed the Gang of Eight Republican and Democratic congressional leaders and the heads of each intelligence committee.

Mueller was appointed just eight days after Comey's firing to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

The president and his allies have frequently railed against the special counsel investigation and the officials who launched it, calling it a "witch hunt." 

McCabe was fired from the FBI in March and Trump tweeted a picture showing Rosenstein behind bars just last week.

"It's shocking that the FBI would open up an obstruction case for the President exercising his authority under Article II," Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani told the outlet.