US Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned the White House that he may resign if President Donald Trump fired his deputy Rod J. Rosenstein, who is overseeing the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Sessions told White House counsel Don McGahn in a phone call last weekend that he could leave the Justice Department in the event of Rosenstein’s ouster, the Washington Post reported on Friday.
The phone call came amid a series of attacks on Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller by Trump, following the FBI raid on April 9 on the home and office of the President’s personal attorney Michael Cohen.
Rosenstein oversees the law enforcement investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mueller is carrying out that probe.
Sessions had also asked for details of April 12 meeting between Trump and Rosenstein and was reportedly relieved when he was told that the encounter was cordial, the daily said.
According to the Post, one person familiar with the phone call said that Sessions did not intend to threaten his resignation but simply wanted to express his concern that Rosenstein’s ouster would put him in a difficult position.
But Trump reportedly backed away from the idea of firing Rosenstein and Mueller after the deputy Attorney General told him in a White House meeting that he was not a target of Mueller’s investigation.
Trump insists that there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow, and that the investigation was a “witch hunt”.