Rosenstein personally approved FBI raid against Trump lawyer Michael Cohen: NYT

  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein signed off on the FBI raids of Trump's longtime lawyer's office and residence on Monday.
  • ABC News' Jonathan Karl, citing a source briefed on the matter, reported Tuesday that Berman has recused himself from the Cohen investigation, and played no part in the Monday raids.
  • Trump deliberated over whether to fire Rosenstein later that evening, the Times reported.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein personally signed off on raids of the office and residence of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the New York Times reported Tuesday, citing sources.

Trump, who on Monday evening vented his frustration about the raid and the special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing probe of potential collusion between his campaign and Russia, deliberated over whether to fire Rosenstein later that evening, the Times reported.

The Times reported that Rosenstein was not necessarily required to sign off on searches carried out by law enforcement offices that are separate from the special counsel.

Multiple outlets reported Monday that Rosenstein approved Mueller's referral to Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for New York's southern district.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
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U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

But ABC News, citing two sources familiar with the matter, reported Tuesday that Berman has recused himself from the Cohen investigation, and played no part in the Monday raids.

Trump called the raids "disgraceful" and maintained that Cohen is a "good man" in remarks before a White House meeting on Monday about the U.S. response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.

When asked if he planned to fire Mueller, the president said: "Many people have said, 'You should fire him.'"

Trump's expressed further frustration about the Monday morning raids in tweets the next day.

Trump has reportedly on multiple occasions weighed firing Rosenstein, who assumed control of the special counsel after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself over failing to disclose contacts with a Russian ambassador in congressional testimony.

Sessions has been a perennial target of Trump's ire in public and, reportedly, in private for his recusal.

In his Monday evening remarks, Trump again attacked Sessions for making "a terrible mistake" by recusing himself. Trump said that if he had known that Sessions planned to do so, "we would have used a — put a different attorney general in."

Read the full Times report here.

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