There's one problem with the Justice Department letter being held up as the death knell to FBI Director James Comey's tenure — the deputy attorney general who wrote it never explicitly recommended termination, the Washington Examiner reported.
In his letter, Rod Rosenstein pushes the envelope all the way to the edge — criticizing Comey's actions on several fronts, doubting the FBI's ability to regain trust under Comey — but falls short of calling on President Donald Trump to terminate him.
"Although the president has the power to remove an FBI director, the decision should not be taken lightly," Rosenstein begins his final paragraph.
"The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.
"Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions," Rosenstein concludes.
Parsing through that language, one could infer Rosenstein was touting a change in FBI leadership, in so many words.
The White House, though, took it as a slam dunk.
"When (Rosenstein) brought the recommendation to the president that the director of the FBI should be removed, President Trump provided the strong and decisive leadership the American people have come to be accustomed from him," Vice President Mike Pence said earlier Wednesday.
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