Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told President Trump last week he is not a target of any part of the special counsel probe or the investigation into his lawyer Michael Cohen, according to Bloomberg.
Rosenstein, who started and is overseeing the special counsel probe led by Robert Mueller, offered the assurance during a meeting with Trump last Thursday as the president was contemplating firing him, according to the report.
News of the FBI raiding Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room heightened speculation that Trump would fire Rosenstein or Mueller, and Democrats readied a rapid response team in advance.
Rosenstein had approved Mueller’s referral to the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York for a criminal investigation of Cohen.
At the same time, House Republicans were threatening Rosenstein with contempt of Congress and potential impeachment for withholding Justice Department and FBI documents that were requested in August.
The revelation that Trump is not a target of either investigation appears to have headed off any firings for the near future.
However, Rosenstein’s assurances may have been merely semantic. Earlier this month, Mueller told Trump’s attorneys that he was not a “target” of the Russia collusion probe, but said he remained a “subject” of investigation and could become a target at any time.
On Thursday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined the president’s legal team dealing with the Russia probe, telling the Washington Post that he would negotiate an end to it.
“I’m doing it because I hope we can negotiate an end to this for the good of the country and because I have high regard for the president and for Bob Mueller,” he said.