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Rosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office Trump turns his ire toward Cabinet members MORE reportedly said that he discussed the firing of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyJohn Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Trump DOJ officials sought to block search of Giuliani records: report Tina Fey, Amy Poehler to host Golden Globes from separate coasts amid pandemic MORE with former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsManchin flexes muscle in 50-50 Senate Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' Ocasio-Cortez targets Manchin over Haaland confirmation MORE in late 2016 or early 2017, according to a new batch of documents released in relation to former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's investigation into election interference.

The documents, released due to a CNN and BuzzFeed lawsuit, totaled 295 pages of witness memoranda and notes from FBI interviews that were part of the special counsel's probe.

President TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend MORE fired Comey in 2017, saying that he was acting on recommendations from Sessions and Rosenstein. Mueller's probe began in response to Comey's dismissal. 

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Rosenstein said that he believed Comey's statements on former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton: Allegations against Cuomo 'raise serious questions,' deserve probe Clinton, Pelosi holding online Women's Day fundraiser with Chrissy Teigen, Amanda Gorman Media circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden MORE went against Justice Department rules and said he had contacted "a few people" as possible candidates for Comey's job, according to the documents. 

He also reportedly told FBI interviewers that he was "angry, ashamed, horrified and embarrassed" by the White House's handling of Comey's firing. 

He said he appointed Mueller over concerns about public perception, according to the news outlets.

Rosenstein reportedly said he was surprised that the White House portrayed Comey's firing as his idea. He added that the portrayal of the firing was "inconsistent with my experience and personal knowledge," the news outlets reported. 

Mueller's report, released earlier this year, said that Comey's firing was one of 10 possible instances of obstruction of justice by President Trump. The president has denied wrongdoing and regularly referred to the special counsel investigation as a "witch hunt" and a "hoax." 

The documents released Monday were the second set of released interview notes in the CNN and BuzzFeed lawsuit.