White House denies Trump wants Mueller out, but heat's on

18 June, 2017, 01:39 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Report: Donald Trump is considering just firing special counsel Robert Mueller

WASHINGTON | Criticism of special counsel Robert Mueller used to be off limits.

Close associates of Trump, including longtime confidante and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, have floated the theory that the president is considering firing Mueller, who was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to oversee the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

"I think it's pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently, ' said Ruddy, referring to an interview between attorney Jay Sekulow and ABC News" George Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning. He said Trump could even order the special-counsel regulations repealed and fire Mueller himself. It's certainly theoretically possible that the attorney general could fire him but that's the only person who has authority to fire him.

"M$3 aking a martyr out of a guy who is the All-American hero story is how you Swiftboat yourself", Deace wrote.

An obstruction of justice finding could form the basis for Mr Trump's impeachment but such a step would face a steep hurdle because it would require approval by the US House of Representatives, which is controlled by the President's fellow Republicans.

Time to get to it.

Special counsels, which were created through a 1999 act of Congress, don't answer directly to the president. And since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation, Rosenstein is acting in that capacity. Mueller was named to the current independent counsel role by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is in charge of the Russian Federation probe.

If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller.

Secret Service says it doesn't have any Trump tapes
They addressed another letter to Comey, asking for copies of the memos he wrote documenting his conversations with Trump. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that the president is waiting to announce whether he has any tapes.

Just weeks ago, Gingrich had heaped praise on Mueller, hailing him as a "superb choice" for special counsel whose reputation was "impeccable for honesty and integrity". And it seemed to be as much a warning as a trial balloon; even before that interview aired, Ruddy and others were warning Trump strongly against that course of action. Rosenstein would be the one to fire Mueller, which he repeatedly assured senators Tuesday he would not consider without "good cause".

Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior declined to comment on the possibility of Trump seeking to remove Mueller.

If Sekulow provided the legal framework for firing Mueller, Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich supplied the political messaging: Trump has been exonerated and Mueller is biased.

He also said that he believed it would be "a very significant mistake" for Trump to fire Mueller, but emphasized that he was concerned about what he described as conflicts.

"James Comey said he reviewed his testimony with the special counsel and ... it's unusual to me ... that you have a situation - I think this is unprecedented - where the testimony was reviewed". Still, he added, "I can't imagine that that issue is going to arise".

Ruddy never spoke to the President regarding this issue.

Whether Trump can tolerate a free-ranging investigation, directed by Mueller, that could raise questions about the legitimacy of his Electoral College victory, the topic that most sparks his rage, will be a critical test for a president who has continued on Twitter and elsewhere to flout the advice of his staff, friends, and legal team.

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