What Did the Original Draft of Trump's Letter Explaining the Firing of James Comey Reveal?

Former FBI Director James Comey speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

And now it’s in the hands of Robert Mueller and his investigative team.

I’m talking about the original draft of President Trump’s letter, written in May, to explain his reasoning for firing then-FBI Director James Comey.


So according to the original, why did Trump fire James Comey?

Well, it had nothing to do with his handling of the Hillary Clinton emails.

The letter, the existence of which was revealed earlier in the day and is now in the hands of special council Robert Mueller’s team, made it clear that he wanted Comey gone because of the for top law enforcement official’s refusal to publicly clear his name in the Russia investigation.

“You’ve told me three times I’m not under investigation but you won’t tell the world, and it’s hampering the country,” an administration official said in paraphrasing what Trump wrote in the letter, the Wall Street Journal reported. Comey later testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that during his time at the FBI, Trump was not under investigation in connection to the Russia probe.

In drafting the first version, Trump enlisted the aid of White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, while at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort.

And while there were several reasons listed, the main focus was the fact that Comey had told him privately that he wasn’t under investigation for involvement with Russia.


Trump never sent the four-page letter to Comey at the discretion of White House aides and Justice Department officials who urged him on May 8 to go in a different direction.

Instead, Trump issued a four-paragraph letter to Comey. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein also drafted memos outlining why they saw Comey unfit to continue serving as FBI chief.

In this cleaned up version, the handling of the Clinton email scandal was the cause.

Mueller’s team has had the original draft since August and will look at it as part of determining why Trump fired Comey, and presumably, if this was active obstruction on Trump’s part.


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