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

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinHouse Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week Media leaders to meet with Garland to discuss leak investigations MORE reportedly said that he discussed the firing of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyBiden sister has book deal, set to publish in April Mystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records NYT publisher: DOJ phone records seizure a 'dangerous incursion' on press freedom MORE with former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos Garland strikes down Trump-era asylum decisions MORE in late 2016 or early 2017, according to a new batch of documents released in relation to former 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 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 Trump Pence said he's 'proud' Congress certified Biden's win on Jan. 6 Americans put the most trust in their doctor for COVID-19 information: poll OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Biden administration to evacuate Afghans who helped US l Serious differences remain between US and Iran on nuclear talks l US, Turkish officials meet to discuss security plans for Afghan airport 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 ClintonCommunion vote puts spotlight on Hispanic Catholics Trump's biggest political obstacle is Trump The Memo: Some Democrats worry rising crime will cost them 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.