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Schumer: Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein Invited to Brief Senate

by Andrew Rafferty /
Rod Rosenstein, nominee to be Deputy Attorney General, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington March 7, 2017.AARON P. BERNSTEIN / Reuters

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be invited to hold an all-senators briefing next week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Thursday.

Rosenstein, whose memo to President Donald Trump was cited as part of the reason FBI Director James Comey was dismissed, made a surprise visit to Capitol Hill to meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed-door briefing earlier in the day.

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The briefing follows reports that Rosenstein threatened to quit after the memo he crafted was used by White House officials to justify Comey’s hasty firing. However, two Justice Department officials told NBC News Rosenstein never made such a threat.

Trump told NBC News’ Lester Holt in an interview Thursday that Comey told him on three occasions that he was not being investigated as part of the Department of Justice probe into possible ties between Russia and the 2016 election. The statements, just two days after Trump fired the FBI head, have raised questions about the impartiality of the investigation.

“The need for these briefings is even greater now than it was this morning given when the president said this afternoon,” Schumer said. “The rule of law, the separation of powers, and their strength, hallmarks of American democracy, are at stake.”

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