Deputy AG: No cause to fire special counsel Mueller

Patrice Gainsbourg
Junho 20, 2017

Ryan argued Mueller must be allowed to carry on his investigation "because of what [Trump] did with Comey", referring to the president's decision to fire the former FBI director over the Russian Federation investigation.

Mueller's investigation will oversee an FBI probe into whether members of Trump's campaign team and his associates colluded to help Russian Federation with its interference in the election.

"I have talked to the president recently but we did not talk about the Mueller situation at all", Ruddy said.

"You're creating a debate that's not happening", said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday morning, responding to a reporter's question about the rumor.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he will "defend the integrity" of the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the US elections.

Rosenstein said that, under the special counsel regulations, he is the only department official with the authority to get rid of Mueller.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California told Rosenstein, "It would be catastrophic", if Trump fired Mueller.

President Donald Trump has no intention to fire Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is leading the bureau's investigation into Russia's meddling in last year's United States election, the White House said Tuesday.

Under questioning from South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, whether a history of political donations would prohibit someone from being involved in the investigation. According to him, "only the President and his attorneys are authorized to comment" on the subject.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified Tuesday that if the president ordered him to fire the special counsel handling the Russian Federation investigation, he would only comply if the request was "lawful and appropriate".

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He also emphasized that the DOJ will "faithfully follow the regulation" and Mueller will have the "full degree of independence he needs to conduct that investigation appropriately".

Asked in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing if there was any cause to fire Mueller, Rosenstein flatly replied: "No". "I think it's pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently".

It was unclear if there would be any serious consequences from Republican senators were Trump to fire Rosenstein and anyone else who might refuse an order to remove the special counsel.

If questions arise about what matters Sessions should stay away from, he said, a career official in Rosenstein's office is consulted.

Sessions recused himself from investigations related to the Trump campaign in February, a move that also provoked Trump's ire.

Newsmax founder Chris Ruddy's decision to say that President Trump is weighing firing special counsel Robert Mueller harmed Trump's ability to fire him, a Trump confidant told The Daily Caller.

Until now, Mueller had drawn widespread praise from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Rosenstein assured Feinstein the firing of Mueller would not occur without his assent. "The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal", it says.

As attorney general, Sessions is unlikely to answer in detail questions about conversations he's had with Trump. "I think the best vindication for the president is to let the investigation go on independently and thoroughly".

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