WASHINGTON — Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the FBI he was “angry, ashamed, horrified and embarrassed” at the way James Comey was fired as FBI director, according to records released Monday.
Rosenstein was interviewed by FBI agents several weeks after Comey’s firing as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia. An FBI summary of that interview was among roughly 300 pages of documents released as part of public records lawsuits brought by BuzzFeed News and CNN.
The records also include summaries of FBI interviews of key Trump associates, including Hope Hicks, Corey Lewandowski and Michael Cohen. They provide additional insight into Mueller’s two-year investigation, which shadowed the first part of Trump’s presidency and preceded an ongoing impeachment inquiry centered on his efforts to press Ukraine for investigations of political rival Joe Biden.
Hicks described efforts to prepare for media scrutiny of a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Russians and the president’s oldest son. Lewandowski told investigators the president prodded him to tell then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to make an announcement that the scope of the Russia investigation had been limited to future election interference.
And Cohen, who is now serving a three-year prison sentence for campaign finance violations and lying to Congress, told investigators he advised Trump’s personal lawyer that there was more detail about a proposed deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow than what he had shared with lawmakers. He said he “vaguely recalled” telling Jay Sekulow about a call he had “with a woman from the Kremlin,” and said Sekulow’s response was in line with “so what” and the deal never happened, according to the FBI document.
Sekulow told The Associated Press on Monday night that Cohen’s statements were false and that Cohen never told him anything about any call with a woman from Russia.