In the time since President Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, one name has been at the center of the decision: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
A new Washington Post report published late Wednesday states that Rosenstein threatened to resign because of the narrative that he was solely behind Comey's forced departure.
Trump's frustration with Comey reportedly came down to the intel official's persistent focus on discussing Russia during public events and not validating claims that former President Barack Obama had Trump's campaign wiretapped last year.
The commander in chief was ultimately motivated to terminate Comey a mere three-and-a-half years into his 10-year term for his refusal to end the federal investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign.
Trump decided last weekend while staying at one of his homes in Bedminster, N.J., that Comey needed to go.
On Monday morning, Trump told his top advisers — chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon and Counselor Donald McGahn, and others — that he had made his decision on Comey and was ready to move, but needed a reason to do so.
Trump brought in Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein, who has worked in the Clinton and Bush administrations and was appointed United States Attorney for the District of Maryland by Obama.
According to the latest story, the two top U.S. attorneys were told to give reasons for the Trump administration's decision to part ways with the FBI director and did so.
However, this may understate Rosenstein's rule in the decision. As the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday, White House sources didn't say that his approval by the Senate was the thing that did in Comey, but they did say his arrival was one factor in the FBI director's removal.
Rosenstein was overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate on April 25. Tappearancesrances, he didn't just reluctantly sign off on Comey's canning but wrote a forceful memo advocating it.
Rosenstein's rationale for the firing didn't toe the Trump line but rather held that Comey had badly bungled the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails and indeed had mistreated her.