Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was seen arriving at the Senate Intelligence Committee’s secure office spaces Thursday afternoon. Sources told POLITICO Rosenstein had requested to meet with the Intelligence Committee leaders, Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.), who both hastily left an open, televised committee hearing for what Burr said was a meeting “we can’t push off.”
The meeting was pre-scheduled, but Rosenstein’s office reached out confirm it after President Donald Trump unceremoniously fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday. The president cited a three-page letter from Rosenstein questioning the director’s fitness to serve. The meeting also came amid reports that Rosenstein, a well-regarded federal prosecutor, was furious over the White House’s characterization of his apparent recommendation and even threatened to quit.
It’s unclear whether Rosenstein made the request to the committee unilaterally, or took his request through officials channels at the Department of Justice. He arrived with a security detail.
Burr said the meeting with Rosenstein was pre-scheduled. However, sources say DOJ reached back out to the committee after the Comey matter.
Rosenstein is also doing outreach with other senators. The deputy attorney general’s aides reached out to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has been highly critical of Rosenstein’s handling of the Comey matter, for a private meeting, according to a source familiar with the interaction.
But Schumer declined, the source said, because he wants Rosenstein to first meet with all senators and brief them on Comey’s dismissal.
Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.