Pelosi: Nunes Memo Could Lead to 'Constitutional Crisis'

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Sessions went off-script at the event to praise Rosenstein, saying he represents "the kind of quality and leadership that we want" at the Justice Department.

White House spokesman Raj Shah walked back the president's comments late Friday, telling CNN that Trump has no immediate plans to sack Rosenstein.

President Donald Trump had appeared to raise that possibility earlier on Friday when asked whether he retained confidence in Rosenstein in the fallout over a Republican memo about the ongoing Russian Federation probe.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) penned a scathing letter to the commander-in-chief warning him against dismissing deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein or interfering with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

The memo could be made public in the next few days after the House approved its release Monday - though Trump can block the release - and it could cause blowback for Rosenstein, a top Justice Department official.

Asked if he still had confidence Rosenstein, the deputy attorney genearl, Trump - who has gone after Rosenstein publicly before - responded: 'You figure that one out'. Sessions and Rosenstein met with Trump at the White House the day before Comey was sacked, and the president asked them to put in writing a rationale for the dismissal.




Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies to the House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2017.

"It's been very clear throughout the process in the White House, there are no conversations and no considerations about firing Rod Rosenstein", Gidley told CNN's John Berman. The exchange could raise further questions about whether Trump was seeking to interfere in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into potential collusion by the Trump campaign with Russian Federation and obstruction of justice by the White House. Trump has made no secret his disdain for the "Russia hoax", and he has reportedly questioned Rosenstein's loyalty to him.

"The GOP memo is a disgrace", Trump said in the Oval Office Friday.

In his recent testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Rosenstein may have given insight into how he justifies his ethical balancing act. Those criticisms have prompted speculation that Trump was looking for reasons to fire Rosenstein.

Rosenstein replied: "I don't have any opinion about that". And there's no sense that Rachel Brand, the current No. 3 at the Justice Department, would be viewed any more favorably by Trump. Boente, a former deputy attorney general at DOJ, was named as the FBI's general counsel by Wray last month.

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