Dave Lawler May 18, 2017
Rod Rosenstein's revenge
Last week, Rod Rosenstein was the toast of the White House. Tonight, he went against President Trump's wishes and took the Russia probe to a new level.
- The initial party line on James Comey's firing: Trump had accepted the recommendation of his deputy attorney general, a "universally respected" and apolitical figure. Rosenstein, a longtime Department of Justice official, was reportedly infuriated that Trump's decision had been pinned on him.
- Eight days after Comey's ouster: Rosenstein took the dramatic step of naming former FBI director Robert Mueller special counsel in the Russia probe, tasked with investigating ties between Trump campaign associates and the Kremlin.
- Trump was reportedly not informed until after Rosenstein signed the order, less than an hour before the public announcement. Some media organizations received the news around the same time.