Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is not happy with former FBI director James Comey for publicizing the existence of memos he wrote documenting his private conversations with President Donald Trump.
Speaking to Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Wednesday, Rosenstein said the Justice Department takes confidentiality seriously and that “when we have memoranda about our ongoing matters, we have an obligation to keep that confidential.”
“I think it is quite clear,” said Rosenstein. “It’s what we were taught, all of us as prosecutors and agents.”
“We have a responsibility to the people who we are investigating, we have a responsibility to the people conducting those investigations to keep our investigations confidential,” Rosenstein continued.
Comey’s memos documented his private conversations with Trump, held shortly after Trump took office. Comey said during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June that he hoped one of his memos would prompt the appointment of a special counsel in the Russia investigation.
That specific memo recounted a conversation with Trump in which the president asked Comey if the FBI could drop its investigation into hia former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump said to Comey, according to a memo.
Comey said during his June testimony he gave his memo to a Columbia law professor to share with reporters.
Shortly after The New York Times reported on the existence of Comey’s memos, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel and took charge of the investigation into Russia’s US-election meddling and potential ties between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Kremlin.