Trump 'considering firing special counsel'

Olive Rios
June 26, 2017

CNN has reported at the time that the White House was given only a brief heads up that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was naming Mueller to oversee Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion from Trump's campaign associates.

Under Justice Department regulations created to ensure a measure of independence for the special counsel, Rosenstein may only fire Mueller for "good cause". The Times reported Trump has been bothered by conservative news reports that Mueller was close to fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey. He called me and we had a good chat.

Even though it is reported that the president understands how risky firing Mueller will be, those close to him feel that Trump is "so volatile they can not be sure that he won't change his mind if he finds out anything to lead him to believe the investigation has been compromised".

Trump himself does not have the authority to directly fire the special counsel.

But in this particular case, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from anything relating to the Russian Federation investigation.

Rosenstein's letter critical of Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation served as the Trump White House's first reasoning for firing Comey - though Trump later undercut that explanation by saying he fired Comey in hopes of ending the Russian Federation probe.

A source close to Trump said the president is being counseled to avoid firing the special counsel.

In a Tuesday morning Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein confirmed that only he could dismiss Mueller, and even then only for a documented cause.

He also told the senators, "I can assure you we're going to do the right thing and defend the integrity of the investigation".

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) asked Rosenstein if he has seen evidence for "good cause" to remove Mueller, whom he appointed last month after Comey's firing.

"I think that Mueller shouldn't have taken the position", Ruddy said, "if he was under consideration and had a private conversation with the president and was privy maybe to some of his thoughts about that investigation or other matters before the bureau".

'With respect to this subject, only the President or his attorneys are authorized to comment'.

Ruddy did not dismiss the White House communications team's words, but he did call Spicer's statement "bizarre". He says he stepped aside because Justice Department rules prevent such a conflict of interest.

"Look, the president of the United States, as we all know, is a unitary executive".

"No, I have not", he said.

"The president's friends are now pressing the argument that Mueller must go, too".

But Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax and a friend of the President who attended meetings Monday at the White House, was the one who revealed that the issue was being discussed. Ruddy did not immediately respond to questions seeking clarification.

Ruddy issued a terse response directed at Spicer, but also admitted he didn't speak to Trump personally about this.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on Ruddy's remarks.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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