US Deputy Attorney General Assures Congress of Special Counsel Independence

Jun 25, 2017, 01:14
US Deputy Attorney General Assures Congress of Special Counsel Independence

U.S. President Donald Trump has "no intention" of firing special counsel Robert Mueller, the White House has said of the former FBI director who was hired by the Department of Justice last month to lead an independent investigation into Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 election. South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, who is unafraid to tangle with Trump, said firing Mueller would be "a disaster, " since the special counsel had done nothing to be fired.

"Under the regulation, special counsel Mueller may be fired only for good cause and I am required to put that cause in writing". "I'm not going to follow any orders unless I believe they are lawful" and that "it wouldn't matter what anybody said".

Under Department of Justice rules, it is actually up to the deputy attorney general to make that call, though the president could bypass that protocol. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all matters having to do with the Trump-Russia investigation because of his own conversations with Russian officials during the Trump transition.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that Trump called him Monday night because of Gingrich's concerns about the Russian Federation probe.

Rosenstein's testimony comes amid public statements from Trump confidants that the American president is mulling removing Mueller from the investigation. Rosenstein said that while it depends on the circumstances, "I think the general answer is no".

Conservative media, led by Newsmax CEO and Trump friend Chris Ruddy, have suggested that the interview shows Mueller has a conflict in his special counsel investigation.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan urged the White House to let Mueller's investigation play out.

Even so, Gingrich said, Trump won't seek to dismiss Mueller because he's confident the probe will conclude he's done nothing wrong. "I think he's weighing that option".

White House sources have told ABC News that the president is not seeking to fire Mueller, but a close confidante of Trump's said Mueller's ousting is under c. "I have confidence in Bob Mueller". Coulter suggested that because Comey had testified that Trump hadn't been personally under investigation while he was FBI director, the objective of Mueller's commission "is now over". "I think the way the investigation is shaping up, he's out to get the president".

It's hard to say how much credibility should be attached to Christopher Ruddy's remark on PBS and later on CNN. White House officials confirmed that Ruddy was the White House Monday, but said he didn't meet with the president and never spoke with him about the issue.

"If there were good cause, I would consider it", Rosenstein testified.

But Ruddy opened a new line of questions about Mueller's impartiality - the fact that Trump had considered Mueller for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's job before he was named special counsel.

"I don't know who you're talking to because I've had great with the president through many years", Ruddy said.

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