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Rosenstein Says He Won't Fire Special Counsel Unless There's Good Cause

18 Juin 2017

This isn't just inside-the-Beltway gossip.

Several conservative allies of Trump have criticized Mueller in recent days, and a friend of Trump, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, said on Monday evening that Trump was thinking about firing Mueller.

When West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin asked Rosenstein if Mueller could be "terminated without cause", Rosenstein said "yes".

KRISTEN WELKER: President Trump under fire amid explosive allegations he's considering firing Robert Mueller, the special counsel heading the Russian Federation probe. I want to know why he has provided false testimony to me and to Sen. And since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation, Rosenstein is acting in that capacity.

After Mueller's appointment was announced last month, Trump floated the idea of firing him, but staffers sought to squash the idea, which they believed would "turn a bad situation into a catastrophe", The Times reported.

Trump supporters such as Newt Gingrich and others have seemed to be greasing the wheel for the eventual ouster of Mueller. Coulter suggested that because Comey had testified that Trump hadn't been personally under investigation while he was FBI director, the goal of Mueller's commission "is now over". The former FBI director admitted only that Trump himself was not formerly under investigation, of course - and the special counsel's goal is not only to investigate the president but also his 2016 campaign, including the conduct of his aides, as well as the broader issue of Russian interference in the American electoral process.

Rosenstein would probably refuse.

Former independent counsel Ken Starr called the prospect of firing Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller an "insult to the Founding Fathers" in a Washington Post op-ed published Thursday night. If Trump is innocent as he claims he is, then he should be helping, or better yet, he should be pushing to get to the bottom of this grave assault on our democracy. Still, Gingrich said any special counsel with an agenda can "all of the sudden find something procedural and technical to latch onto".

So nobody else in the department would have authority to do that, and you have my assurance that we're going to faithfully follow that regulation, and Director Mueller is going to have the full degree of independence that he needs to conduct that investigation appropriately. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., suggesting that the attorney general was "cowering" in the face of tough questioning. Trump, who expressed displeasure with Session's withdrawal from the case, wouldn't hesitate to apply pressure. Trump, who isn't typically shy about leveling criticism, especially on Twitter, hasn't commented on the longtime former Federal Bureau of Investigation director. At Tuesday's Senate committee hearing, Democrats are likely to press Sessions for a commitment to remain recused.

Senate intelligence committee chairman Richard Burr says that so far, the panel has interviewed more than 35 individuals, including Jeh Johnson, the former secretary of homeland security, in connection with its investigation of Russian activities during last year's campaign.

Rosenstein Says He Won't Fire Special Counsel Unless There's Good Cause