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Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report confirmed New York Times reporting in 2017 that investigators had obtained the original letter President Trump drafted with Stephen Miller to fire James Comey.

Sources had described it to the Times as a “screed.” It was never sent.

Thursday’s report provides the opening of the final version of the Miller-drafted letter, which he and Trump had worked on at Trump’s golf resort in New Jersey.

Trump read the opening paragraphs of the letter to his advisors and told them his decision to fire Comey was final. Nonetheless, White House Counsel Don McGahn sought to slow walk the decision.

When they were back in Washington, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were brought into the loop. Rosenstein was tasked with writing a recommendation that Comey be fired — a recommendation that focused on his handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation. Trump however insisted against his advisors’ counsel that a reference to the Russia probe still be included in the cover letter announcing the termination that was released with Rosenstein’s recommendation.

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As Josh already pointed out, it’s worth taking a close look at the language Barr used to clear the Trump campaign of collusion with Russia’s hacking operation and the dissemination of that hacked material. It’s different in subtle ways from how Barr gave the all clear — “no collusion” — when it came to Russia’s social media disinformation campaign.

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Some of the redactions in the public version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report slated for release Thursday will be aimed at complying with the gag order in Roger Stone’s case, the Justice Department said in a court filing Wednesday. However, “a limited number of Members of Congress and their staff” will be able to view a version of the report without the Stone gag order-related redactions, as well as certain other redactions, the filing said.

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