AG Rosenstein sees no reason to fire Mueller


Under the regulations that enabled Rosenstein to appoint Mueller, only the Attorney General - or in this case, Rosenstein, since his superior, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation - can remove the special counsel. So as farfetched as the idea seems, a report Monday that the president might try to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III could not be dismissed out of hand.

The reason Mueller was appointed in the first place is because Trump fired Comey and Sessions, who would have ordinarily taken over the investigation, had recuse himself in March over his own Russian Federation ties. He described Mueller as operating independently from the Justice Department in his investigation. I think he's weighing that option, ' he said.

"The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies".

In addition, Comey has said Sessions did not respond when he complained that he did not want to be left alone with Trump again.

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, reacted to the reports Tuesday and said that Mueller should be allowed to continue pursuing the investigation independently and thoroughly.

On PBS on Monday, Ruddy said that Trump's consideration of moving to fire Mueller was "pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently".

Mueller met Wednesday with the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee in an effort to ensure their investigations don't conflict.

Months before Mueller even entered the equation, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation entirely. Rosenstein wrote a memo to Sessions on Comey, which was then used by the administration to justify firing the director for his handling of the Clinton case. Richardson refused and resigned, as did Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus.

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Rosenstein said "no, I have not", when asked by Sen.

Comey had also said that Sessions had lingered in the Oval Office following a group meeting, just before the private encounter during which Comey has said Trump asked him to pull back on his investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Conservative writers, radio hosts and cable personalities - emboldened by the president himself, who has called it a witch hunt - have repeatedly sought to discredit the inquiry, its investigators, the mainstream news accounts of it, and the lawmakers on Capitol Hill who are demanding more answers. "Look, the president of the United States, as we all know, is a unitary executive", Sekulow said. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

Democratic senators repeatedly criticized Sessions for dispatching Rosenstein to testify Tuesday in his place about the Justice Department's budget to an Appropriations subcommittee.

Gingrich said he spoke to Trump on Monday evening after Newsmax's Chris Ruddy told PBS that Trump was considering firing Mueller. Newt Gingrich, who is close to Trump, tweeted: "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair".

Ruddy added that Mueller is "a man of integrity" but said that the far-ranging nature of the investigations could cause issues for Mueller in the future, given those factors.

Also Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley said his panel will investigate the removal of former FBI Director James Comey and "any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations".

Rosenstein says the attorney general would be the only one who could fire Mueller.

The possibility that former FBI Director Robert Mueller - who Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed as special counsel only last month - could be fired immediately sparked bipartisan opposition.