AG Rosenstein sees no reason to fire Mueller

Michele Moreno
June 18, 2017

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told a Senate panel on Tuesday that he has no reason to fire special counsel Robert Mueller amid rumors that President Donald Trump was looking to ax the head investigator probing Russian interference in the USA presidential election.

Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller last month and has the authority to remove him, told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that he saw no cause for Mueller's dismissal.

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"I think he's weighing that option, " Ruddy said in an interview with the PBS NewsHour.

If Mueller knew he was going to be named special counsel, it is unlikely he divulged that information to Trump.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the move would be a "disaster" and, he added, "There's no reason to fire Mueller".

"We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic", Comey said.

"While the president has the right to, he has no intention to do so", deputy White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Tuesday when asked if Trump meant to fire Mueller. "I think it's pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently". (Message: I'll protect you.) He allegedly told Comey the next day, "I hope you can let this go".

It wasn't clear whether Ruddy, who speaks with the president often, was basing his remarks on a specific conversation with the president or entirely on Sekulow's comments.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, however, did say he would be "surprised" if Trump fired Mueller.

Because Sessions had recused himself from the Russia investigation over his connection to Trump's campaign and his undisclosed meetings with the Russian ambassador, it was Rosenstein's decision to appoint a special counsel to lead the investigation.

After Trump fired James Comey in an attempt to quash the Russian Federation scandal investigation, he warned the former FBI director that he'd "better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

Mueller served as Federal Bureau of Investigation director from 2001 to 2013 under both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. Ruddy fired back, "Don't waste time trying to undermine one of your few allies". "Look, the president of the United States, as we all know, is a unitary executive", Sekulow said. "With respect to this subject, only the president [or] his attorneys are authorized to comment". "And so that's what I would do", Rosenstein said.

The talk about dismissing Mueller appeared to be coming from Trump allies - including some close to White House strategist Steve Bannon - who are increasingly frustrated with the prospect of a long and winding probe.

Ruddy told CNN on Tuesday that Mueller and Trump "had a private conversation" and suggested it was "unethical" before the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director was named special counsel.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said via email, "Chris speaks for himself".

"The chain of command for the special counsel is only directly to the attorney general - and in this case, the acting attorney general", he said. "If there were not good cause, it wouldn't matter to me what anybody says".

Other reports by Insurance News

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