Special counsel Robert Mueller has in his possession an early draft of a letter written but never sent that outlines President Donald Trump's reasons to fire former FBI director James Comey, The New York Times reports.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday night that the letter specifically listed the Russia investigation as the reason for Comey's ouster and that the letter was personally written by Trump.
Paraphrasing the letter, an administration official told the Journal that Trump wanted this message sent: “You’ve told me three times I’m not under investigation but you won’t tell the world, and it’s hampering the country.”
Drafted by Trump and top aide Stephen Miller, the letter was considered problematic by White House counsel Don McGahn and not sent to Comey, the Times reported.
A subsequent letter written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was used instead as the basis to terminate Comey.
Trump was unhappy with Comey for not going public with what he told the president privately that he was not — at that time — part of the probe into collusion with Russia.
Trump told NBC News that he had Russia on his mind when he decided to terminate Comey.
Part of Mueller's probe has extended into whether Trump obstructed justice by terminating Comey.
The Times did not see the letter in Mueller's possession, nor could it find sources to divulge its contents.
The Department of Justice turned over a copy of the letter to Mueller's team, the Times reported.
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