Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
World News | By Carolyn Briggs

AG Rosenstein sees no reason to fire Mueller


"Former Speaker-if you want to see the President on a fast track to impeachment, then he should take this advice and fire Mueller". She said the counsel was now pointless, as it's become clear Trump wasn't an initial target of the Russian Federation investigation, which may now be expanding into new areas.

"I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel; I think he's weighing that option", Ruddy told NewsHour's Judy Woodruff. "Special counsel Mueller may be fired only for good cause, and I am required to put that cause in writing".

Ruddy's comments have received a lot of attention.

At a morning press conference, Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy grew frustrated at reporters asking about Mueller, insisting there was no story. Ruddy however, doubled down on the idea, telling NBC in a statement Spicer's statement was "bizarre" and doesn't deny his claim.

The effort to muddy the waters surrounding the investigation is coming amid growing White House concern that the probe could detract from the president's agenda for months or years to come.

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said simply: "Chris speaks for himself". But Gingrich said that Mueller will only "annoy" but not "get Trump".

High-profile supporters of Donald Trump have begun attacking the independent investigator looking into the Russian Federation affair, raising the question of whether the president could indeed attempt to fire him.

He added, "I'm not going to follow any order unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders".

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Federal regulation states that the termination of a special counsel would have to come from the attorney general's office. Nixon was eventually able to convince the DOJ's third in command, Solicitor General Robert Bork, to fire Cox. "And the next day he's now maybe using some of that information in his investigation".

The Justice Department declined CBS News' request for comment. Sessions would then turn to Rod Rosenstein and tell him to fire Mueller.

Now it would be a heavy lift for the Trump team to go after the former FBI director who was recently named as special counsel in the Russian Federation investigation. There's no reason to fire Mueller.

While in theory it is possible that Congress could reauthorize the independent counsel law, it would not necessarily be smooth sailing given that Republicans control Congress.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is also scheduled on Tuesday to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, a venue where the possibility of firing Mueller could arise.

Obviously, to fire a well-regarded special prosecutor who is investigating your own administration would be an explosive political move. Neal Katyal spelled out three ways to thwart this kind of criminal probe in a Washington Post piece titled, "Trump or Congress can still block Robert Mueller". Gingrich said that is why independent counsels are "very risky". Or they could choose to do nothing, which, according to New York Magazine, is not unlikely, considering how they have responded to Trump's previous unprecedented actions. A highly regarded Justice Department careerist, he tapped Mueller - infuriating Trump - after the White House tried to pin the Comey firing on him. Whether or not public confidence would be restored would depend on the reactions of DOJ officials and Republicans in Congress, whose moves can not necessarily be anticipated.

Given that standard, they might well conclude that firing Mueller is okay too.

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