One striking piece of news emerged from Rosenstein's briefing: He told senators that he had already known Comey was getting fired even as he wrote the memo that Trump cited as a significant justification for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's dismissal.
The article suggests Trump's loyalty request and the plea to drop the Flynn investigation were not one-off moments but were part of a longer effort by the President to win Comey over.
During his meeting with Russian officials last week, President Donald Trump said recently fired FBI Director James Comey was a "nut job" whose ouster relieved "great pressure" on him, according to a report Friday in The New York Times. A good lawyer would tell Trump to stop talking and tweeting before he gets the boot from the job, for which he is eminently unqualified to do.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly deflected questions in an appearance before the U.S. House on Friday about who asked him to write the memo that was critical of now-former FBI Director James Comey.
Former White House photographer Pete Souza had some fun with the scene (as he has done repeatedly with this administration since Trump took office).
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 18, 2017.
Earlier this week, close advisers to the President, including lawyer and surrogate Michael Cohen, visited the White House to discuss his need to hire personal attorneys for Mr Trump.
Comey was sacked the day before President Trump met with Russian officials, where it was reported that he leaked classified information to those officials during the meeting. Trump later said he had already chose to dismiss him and was thinking of "this Russian Federation thing".
The Post, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said a senior Trump adviser is considered a "person of interest" in the investigation.
The White House initially said last week that Trump was prompted to fire Comey after reading the Rosenstein letter.
This latest scoop comes via The New York Times with reporting by Maggie Haberman, Matt Apuzzo, and Matthew Rosenberg based on a document that summarized the President's May 10 meeting meeting with the Russians in the Oval Office.
His appointment raises the stakes dramatically on the long-simmering allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election and had connections with members of the Trump campaign.
Comey has now agreed to testify before the senate intelligence committee, sometime after Memorial Day. But he added, "I wrote it".
Mr Mueller, who will have wide-ranging powers, said simply: "I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability".
But the Times notes that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer "did not dispute the account".
Asked point-blank if he'd done anything that might merit prosecution or even impeachment, he said no and then added concerning the allegations and questions that have mounted as he nears the four-month mark of his presidency: "I think it's totally ridiculous".
He says he asked career Justice Department lawyers to review the memo.