Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will brief the U.S. Senate on Thursday regarding the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Monday that Rosenstein accepted an offer to attend the all-Senators briefing.
President Trump fired Comey last Tuesday. Rosenstein, who took office on April 26, wrote a letter recommending that Comey be removed from office over his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
The White House initially said that Trump fired Comey on the recommendation of Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. But that claim soon fell apart after Trump himself acknowledged in an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt that he would have fired Comey with or without the recommendation of Rosenstein.
Rosenstein, a former federal prosecutor from Maryland, has come under heavy criticism from Democrats for writing the letter. Some Democratic lawmakers have called for him to completely recuse himself from the ongoing investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Rosenstein is overseeing that investigation because Sessions recused himself from the matter.
The two Justice Department officials have reportedly been interviewing candidates to replace Comey, who was fired unceremoniously while giving a talk in Los Angeles.
Rosenstein will likely be pressed by senators on Thursday over his interactions with the White House leading up to Comey’s firing. He and Sessions met with Trump last Monday, the eve of Comey’s ouster. Rosenstein was reportedly unhappy with the White House portraying him as the catalyst for Comey’s firing. The Wall Street Journal reported that he threatened to resign, though Rosenstein himself denied that he considered stepping down.
This story is developing. More to follow.