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- The controversial former federal prosecutor Joseph diGenova told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Wednesday night that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “tomorrow morning.”
- Shortly before Hannity’s show aired, President Donald Trump promoted it on Twitter, prompting viewers to tune in.
- The knives have been out for Rosenstein since it emerged that the FBI raided the home and office of Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, on Monday.
- Trump’s fury toward Rosenstein was likely bolstered by a steady stream of loyalists who appeared on Fox News to push for Rosenstein’s firing and the shuttering of the Russia investigation this week.
Joseph diGenova, a controversial former federal prosecutor who was recently under consideration to join President Donald Trump’s legal team, said Wednesday night that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “tomorrow morning.”
DiGenova made the comments to the Fox News opinion-show host, Sean Hannity, who is an ardent Trump supporter. Shortly before Hannity’s show aired featuring comments from diGenova and other Trump supporters, the president plugged it on Twitter.
“Big show tonight on @seanhannity! 9:00 P.M. on @FoxNews,” he tweeted.
On Hannity’s show, diGenova called the special counsel Robert Mueller’s team “legal terrorists” and said James Comey, the former FBI director, was a “dirty cop.”
DiGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, both used to work within the US Justice Department, but later made their reputations peddling conspiracy theories on TV about the DOJ and FBI. They are staunch critics of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and both frequently appeared on conservative news networks during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Sessions “has a duty to fire Rod Rosenstein,” diGenova said Wednesday, adding that it was not Trump’s job to carry out the action.
The knives have come out for Rosenstein since it emerged on Monday that the FBI obtained a search warrant to raid the office and home of Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer.
Agents working for the US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York reportedly seized Cohen’s electronic devices; financial records; documents related to payments made to two women who claim they had affairs with Trump; records related to a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape featuring Trump; and attorney-client communications between Trump and Cohen.
News of the raid enraged Trump, who reportedly fumed in private about firing Rosenstein and said the event represented a breach of the “red line” he said investigators would cross if they looked into his or his family members’ personal dealings.
The FBI agents who carried out the raid were not working for Mueller’s office. Instead, they were acting on a referral from Mueller that was likely made after Mueller uncovered evidence of wrongdoing connected to Cohen that fell outside his purview. The Washington Post reported that the Manhattan US attorney’s office is now investigating Cohen for possible bank fraud, wire fraud, and election law violations.
The president’s fury toward the deputy attorney general ratcheted up a notch when The New York Times reported that Rosenstein had personally greenlit the FBI’s decision to carry out the raid on Cohen, who is known as Trump’s longtime fixer and close confidant.
According to The Times, Trump’s anger is directed primarily toward three top Justice Department officials: Sessions, Rosenstein, and the FBI director Christopher Wray.
His volatile mood was likely bolstered by a steady stream of loyalists who appeared on Fox News throughout the week to slam Mueller, Rosenstein, and the Russia investigation.
In one instance, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich compared the FBI, in light of the Cohen raid, to the secret police in Nazi Germany and the fascist regime of Joseph Stalin.
Meanwhile, ousted White House chief strategist and Republican firebrand Steve Bannon has pitched a plan to several West Wing aides aimed at crippling Mueller’s investigation, The Washington Post reported.
The first step, sources said, was for Rosenstein to be fired. The second and third steps, respectively, are for Trump to cease cooperating with Mueller and to retroactively assert executive privilege over Mueller’s interviews with White House officials over the last year.
DiGenova said Wednesday night that Mueller and his team of “legal terrorists” were working to “trap” Trump so that they could convey information to Rosenstein, which diGenova said Rosenstein would then pass on to the House of Representatives to trigger impeachment proceedings against Trump.
The House of Representatives and the Senate are both controlled by the Republican Party. While several GOP lawmakers have cautioned Trump, publicly and privately, against ousting Mueller or Rosenstein, few have said they would support impeaching Trump if he decided to fire either official.