McCabe and Rosenstein quarreled over recusals in front of Mueller

In the aftermath of James Comey's firing as FBI director in May 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein...

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 4:13 PM
Updated: Oct 11, 2018 4:13 PM

In the aftermath of James Comey's firing as FBI director in May 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had a heated confrontation about who should recuse themselves from the Russia investigation in front of special counsel Robert Mueller, according to a source briefed on the matter.

Both men were convinced that the other was damaged by the events that had transpired and should step aside from the Russia investigation, according to multiple sources.

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In the meeting with Mueller shortly after he was appointed special counsel to lead the Russia probe, Rosenstein pointed to the fact that years before, McCabe wore a campaign T-shirt in a family picture supporting his wife's bid for state senate, the source said. On the presidential campaign trail, President Donald Trump had repeatedly pointed to Democratic super PAC political donations to Jill McCabe's campaign as evidence of McCabe's political bias, and Rosenstein used the T-shirt photo as grounds for why a recusal may be necessary.

In turn, McCabe, who became the acting FBI director after Comey was ousted, was particularly disturbed by the circumstances surrounding Comey's firing and Rosenstein's role in the episode, aggressively pushing him to recuse in the days that followed, as CNN has reported.

Overall, there was significant mistrust on both sides while tensions were high in May 2017, and sources suggested to CNN this suspicion colored the conversations that are now documented in contemporaneous notes McCabe handed over to Mueller.

The Justice Department's Inspector General concluded that McCabe was not obligated to recuse himself from the FBI's investigation into how Hillary Clinton handled classified information, but has not addressed whether McCabe should have recused himself from Russia-related matters.

CNN has previously reported that Rosenstein has continued to oversee Mueller's investigation after consulting with a career ethics adviser at the Justice Department about his ability to oversee the Russia probe.

The Rosenstein-McCabe row in front of Mueller, which was first reported by The Washington Post on Wednesday, has come into full view this week as the President has signaled Rosenstein's job is safe for now. His future at the Justice Department had appeared shaky over the last several weeks amid reports that he discussed with McCabe secretly wearing a wire to record Trump last year -- an idea Rosenstein adamantly denies ever pursuing.

Meanwhile, another former top FBI lawyer, James Baker, added support to the claim McCabe took Rosenstein seriously, recounting to House investigators that McCabe told him that Rosenstein had raised the idea of wearing a wire. The idea, however, was swiftly dismissed as implausible, according to a source familiar with Baker's interview, and he was not present when any wiretapping remarks were raised.

Baker is expected to come before the House Judiciary Committee for a second round of questioning next Thursday, according to another source familiar with the interview plans.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
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We continue to monitor a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico. This will be in heavy rainfall two locations across the southeast over the course of the weekend, and flooding rainfall could be in tow as well. Things are looking better for Father’s Day itself, thankfully.
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